Lindy Blanchard brought her gubernatorial campaign to Pell City on Thursday. Blanchard is one of nine candidates in the crowded GOP primary field running for governor of Alabama.

She spoke with the St. Clair County Young Republicans at the Pell City Steakhouse about her life and goals.

“I got that fire in my belly to serve,” Blanchard said. “I am a mathematician, not a politician.”

Blanchard told the crowd that after graduating high school from Jeff Davis in Montgomery, she worked as a waitress before marrying her husband, Johnny, at the age of 19.

The young couple made the decision that Johnny would go to college first.

“We paid off his student loan and then I went at age 28 with two kids,” Blanchard. “I had to sell my car first. I bought a yellow Bonneville for $500 to go back and forth.”

Blanchard got a degree in mathematics intending to go to work but instead, the two made the decision to become real estate investors. They bought their first apartment building in Mobile and would eventually own buildings across the southeast.

The Blanchards’ lost their eldest son to drugs and Blanchard took a step back from the business.

“We decided to focus on the children,” Blanchard said. “I loved it. It was amazing.”

The Blanchard charity helped orphans.

“We started working in the state of Alabama and then in other countries,” Blanchard said. “I started going to D.C. on children’s issues.”

In 2016, Donald J. Trump (R) was elected the 45th President of the United States and Blanchard applied for Administrator of the USAid. She didn’t get that job but First Lady Melania Trump saw Blanchard’s resume and chose her to be the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia – Melania’s home country.

“I am the third-ever politically appointed ambassador from the state of Alabama,” Blanchard said. “The hardest part was pushing through the Democrats. They did not want a politically-appointed ambassador.”

Blanchard prayed on her Facebook on election night, “May God our Father paint the nation with the blood of Jesus.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) blasted Blanchard for mixing religion with politics, but Trump won and Blanchard got confirmed as ambassador.

“I get to work on the America First initiative,” Blanchard said. “I worked on broadband to keep China and their 5G out of Slovenia.”

Blanchard warned about China and lamented that under Gov. Kay Ivey, China has become Alabama’s number one trading partner.

“They can pull the rug out from under us at any time,” Blanchard warned.

“Slovenia is the only country in Europe with a U.S.-built nuclear reactor,” Blanchard said.

As ambassador, she worked a deal for them to get a second U.S.-built reactor.

“That was a $20 billion deal that I worked,” Blanchard said.

“We are a military state and I am very focused on keeping our bases,” Blanchard said. As ambassador, “I came back to Redstone to buy NATO products with our 2%.”

Blanchard said that she is proficient in the use of handguns, so much so that it impressed her Marine security detail.

“What did you expect? I am from Alabama,” Blanchard told her Marines.

Blanchard said she is in favor of school choice and an opponent of Common Core,

“I am going to rip out Common Core,” Blanchard promised. “I think we need to get back to basics.”

Blanchard blasted the state for having the worst math performance numbers in the entire country.

Blanchard said that she was impressed with a recent visit to Opelika High School because they combined education with workforce development.

“They walk out with certificates when they graduate,” Blanchard said. “They are teaching their students to weld, they are teaching their students farming, they are teaching robotics.”

Blanchard said that as governor she “would try to mimic that” approach.

“We really need a conservative Christian as governor,” Blanchard said. “The governor should be the first line of defense against executive overreach.”

Blanchard said that she is largely self-funding her campaign.

“I can’t be bought, and I won’t be bought,” Blanchard said. “We do take small donations, but not the big ones.”

Blanchard faces a very crowded GOP gubernatorial field that includes incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, Dean Odle, Tim James, Lew Burdette, Dave Thomas, Dean Young, Stacy George, and David Trent Jones.

The Republican primary is on May 24.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email