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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) is running for reelection, but she faces at least 10 opponents, with the best-funded opponents being members of her own party, foreshadowing what could be a very competitive Republican primary. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office released campaign finance reports on Jan. 4.
The Ivey campaign raised $315,490.10 in campaign contributions in December. The incumbent governor’s campaign entered the month with $2,737,409.73, but spent $465,642.42 to enter 2022 with $2,587,257.41. Ivey was elevated to Governor in 2017 when former Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned. She was elected to her own term in 2018.
Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacey George (R) entered the month of December with a beginning balance of $2,122.36. George raised $500 and reported expenditures of $0.00 for an ending balance of $2,622.36. George previously ran for Governor in 2016, where he lost in the GOP primary to Bentley.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) entered December with an opening balance of $19,430.09. During the month he reported itemized cash contributions of $2,800.00 and non-itemized cash contributions of $325. Zeigler also reported expenditures of $199.03 for an ending balance of $22,356.06. Zeigler is raising funds and campaigning, but he is not an announced candidate. On Jan. 3, Zeigler told 1819 News that he will make a decision on whether or not to run on Jan.27 – the day before the last day to qualify.
King’s Home President Robert Lew Burdette (R) entered December with a beginning balance of $24,900.81. He reported December contributions of $45,100 and expenditures of $27,583.83 for an ending balance of $42,416.98.
Former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda “Lindy” Blanchard (R) had a beginning December balance of $5,800,000. She raised $5,800 in contributions and reported other receipts of $308.15. Blanchard also reported expenditures of $1,499,242.15 to enter 2022 with a balance of $3,506,866.00 – over $900,000 more than Ivey. Blanchard is largely self-funding. Blanchard also reported $15.67 in non-monetary contributions. She had spent the previous eight months in the U.S. Senate race, where she was running in fourth place behind Mo Brooks, Katie Britt, and Mike Durant.
Lee County Pastor Dean Odle is also running as a Republican. Odle entered the month of December with $11,687.81. The Odle campaign reported $9,890.00 in contributions and $9,033.53 in expenses for an ending balance of $12,544.28. Odle also reported $1,939.76 of in-kind contributions. Odle is an evangelist and private schoolmaster who shares his sermons on the internet.
Greenville businessman Tim James (R) entered December with an opening balance of $545,000.00. He reported contributions of $26,600.00 and expenditures of $10,354.72. He also reported receipts from other sources of $500,000 for an entering 2022 balance of $1,061,245.28. James ran in the Republican primaries in 2002 and 2010 and never finished better than third. James is also largely self-funded.
Springville Mayor Dave Thomas qualified for the governor’s race in January when he announced his candidacy, thus does not have a December campaign finance report. Thomas served two terms in the Alabama State Legislature from 1994 to 2002. Thomas was also the Republican nominee for Secretary of State in 2002, losing the general election to Nancy Worley (D).
Whoever wins the Republican primary will still have to face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election in November.
Democratic candidate for governor, Chad “Chig” Martin opened his campaign in December with an opening balance of $0.00. Martin reported contributions of $2,691.28 and expenditures of $2,491.28 to enter 2022 with a $200.00 balance. Martin owns a mobile home park and a hemp store in Enterprise. He is also a musician.
Yolanda Rochelle Flowers (D) qualified in December but did not file a campaign finance report. Candidates do not need to file with the Secretary of State’s office until they raise their first thousand dollars.
Dothan area LGBTQ activist Chris Countryman has announced his campaign for governor but has not yet qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party and he hasn't filed a campaign finance report.
Campaign qualifying for major party candidates does not end until 5 p.m. on Jan. 28, so it is highly likely that more candidates will enter the race before the deadline.
The major party primaries are on May 24.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.