By Brandon Moseley
Former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia and U.S. Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard issued a statement regarding recent articles published by the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press over the weekend. Those articles reported rumors that former President Donald J. Trump (R) has asked Blanchard to drop out of the Senate race and run for Governor against incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R). Trump said he will endorse Blanchard’s gubernatorial bid if she does so.
"While I don’t comment on private conversations, the President’s endorsement is unquestionably the most powerful force in American politics and when he endorses candidates, they win,” Blanchard said. “The MAGA Movement is the heart and soul of this nation. I entered the Senate race to serve Alabama’s people, and no matter what the future may bring, that will always be my main goal.”
Recent polling has Gov. Kay Ivey (R) with 62% approval. She was ranked the eighth most popular Governor in the country and the most popular southern governor. It is unclear at this time what Blanchard plans to do.
“We must have strong leaders at every level to face the dark times ahead,” Blanchard said. “I will always fight for our freedoms. I stand with America and the great State of Alabama!”
If Blanchard enters the gubernatorial race, she would not be Ivey’s only challenger. Lee County Pastor Dean Odle and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George are already challenging Ivey. Odle has been crisscrossing the state for over a year.
George ran unsuccessfully against Gov. Robert Bentley in 2014.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) has been running an exploratory campaign for Governor for months with no final decision made yet.
Greenville businessman Tim James is publicly considering running again as well. He, like Blanchard, has the means to largely self-fund his campaign. James, the son of two-time Gov. Fob James, previously lost the Republican primaries for Governor in 2002 and 2010. Other well-known candidates are rumored to be exploring entering the gubernatorial race. At this point, LGBTQ activist Chris Countryman is the only announced Democratic candidate for Governor.
If Blanchard stays in the senate race, her future is equally uncertain. She has been campaigning for months and according to the polls has not gained a lot of traction against frontrunners Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) and former Business Council of Alabama (BCA) President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt.
Brooks has the coveted endorsement of President Trump, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and Club for Growth. Britt meanwhile has the support of incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby, the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, the Alabama Retail Association, the Homebuilder’s Association of Alabama and presumably most of the Montgomery lobbying and trade association groups, who dealt with her as the BCA boss. Businesswoman Jessica Fair Taylor and U.S. Army veteran Mike Durant are also in the Senate race. At this point, former Brighton Mayor Brandaun Dean is the only announced Democratic candidate for Senate.
Blanchard is an American success story. She grew up in the Montgomery area, worked as a waitress while putting her husband and then herself through college. They then partnered in a commercial building and built a fortune in real estate. The Blanchard’s are well known across the state for their philanthropy in support of children’s charities. In 2017, Trump made Blanchard the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia.
The Republican primary is May 24, 2022.