On Saturday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Stacy George campaigned in St. Clair, Talladega, Cleburne and Blount Counties. George talked with 1819 News at a campaign stop in Pell City. He emphasized his stance against corruption and shared a copy of his book, “Let Stacy Lee George Do It”.

George, who is a corrections officer for the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), opposes the ambitious prison construction plan championed by incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R).

“In regards to Governor Ivey’s statement about breaking ground on new prisons, I am totally against it,” George said in a statement. “If I were governor, I would call a special session right now and stop construction of all new prisons except one in the Montgomery area. There are a lot of contractors and politicians about to get over a billion dollars of taxpayer money. It is not needed. We need to divert that money to building mental health centers in Alabama. Our mentally challenged are being heavily mistreated. Over half the prison inmates are on the mental health case load.”

George argues that the poor state of Alabama’s mental health system is contributing to the state’s high incarceration rate and the overcrowding in prisons.

George also spoke out against the corruption created by money in politics.

“The largest contribution I have ever received is $3,000,” George said.

George referenced a recent report from WBRC Fox 6 concerning the Ivey campaign receiving two extremely large “dark money” contributions from a non-profit corporation in northern Virginia. This corporation does not have to report where the money came from, and their offices are in the same building as the Republican Governors Association.

“I find it odd that Governor Ivey received two dark money contributions of large amounts of money for her campaign from a nonprofit organization at the same moment she breaks ground on 1.2 billion prison construction,” George said. “… It will come out when the nonprofit files their paperwork, but [that will be] after the election.”

George previously ran for governor in 2014, where he was defeated by incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley (R). George, along with State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R), filed ethics charges against Bentley for campaign finance issues in that campaign as well as allegations that Bentley had used state resources to carry on an extramarital affair. The Ethics Commission found that a crime likely had been committed, leading to Bentley resigning rather than be impeached. That resignation led to the elevation of then-Lieutenant Gov. Kay Ivey to governor in 2017. She was elected in her own right in 2018.

“I might have been better off if I had not taken out Bentley,” George said.

George said that his support is growing and predicted that current polling will change by election day.

George is a former Morgan County Commissioner.

Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, George, Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Yolanda Rochelle Flowers, Patricia Salter Jamieson, Arthur Kennedy, Chad “Chig” Martin, Malika Sanders Fortier and Doug “New Blue” Smith are all running for the Democratic nomination in the Democratic primary.

Both primaries are on May 24.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election on Nov. 8.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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