On Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) told 1819 News that her greatest regret about the 2022 Alabama Regular Session is that gambling legislation did not pass. On Tuesday, Ivey’s Republican primary opponents released statements criticizing her remarks.

Lew Burdette is a Birmingham area businessman and president of the King’s Home.

“Education should be our top priority, not gambling,” said Burdette. “Expanding casino gambling brings in organized crime, higher cases of sex trafficking, increased addiction and mental health issues along with greater burdens on our law enforcement. I wonder after hearing our governor’s comments, does Kay Ivey care about these issues, or does she care about the special interests of casino gambling? Money seems to set the priorities in Montgomery rather than helping all Alabamians.”

Lindy Blanchard is a self-made millionaire, philanthropist and formerly the Trump Administration’s Ambassador to Slovenia.

“Gov. Kay Ivey has shown yet again that she's tone-deaf to the serious problems facing our state,” Blanchard said in a statement. “What our state needs is leadership that will acknowledge our difficult problems and set out to solve them.

"Governor Ivey's assertion that the biggest disappointment of the legislative session was 'not passing gaming legislation' is absolutely incorrect; the true failure of the session came in all of the ways lawmakers disappointed the people of this state by not providing meaningful solutions to fix Alabama's failing schools. Failure came by way of those who ignored calls to suspend the gas tax and end the grocery tax.”

Blanchard said this is yet another example of Gov. Ivey being out of touch with what families and small businesses in our state truly need.

Tim James is a Greenville businessman and the son of former Gov. Fob James (R). James ran for the GOP nomination for governor unsuccessfully in 2002 and 2010.

“We’re 52nd in math, and the governor’s biggest regret is not passing gambling,” James said. “Gov. Ivey’s priorities are misplaced.”

Ivey was elected to two terms as State Treasurer and two terms as Alabama Lt. Gov. before being elevated to governor when Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned rather than face impeachment. Ivey was elected to her own term as governor in 2018.

Blanchard, Burdette, Stacy Lee George, Ivey, James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running in the May 24 Republican primary.

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

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