By Brandon Moseley

U.S. Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard (R) is expected to make a big announcement today. She will reportedly end her Senate campaign and enter the gubernatorial race, challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) in the Republican Primary.

CNN reported this days ago and Blanchard has been publicly acknowledging that she has been urged to enter the governor’s race by supporters for months.

Blanchard is the former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia. She is a successful Montgomery area businesswoman and noted philanthropist as well as a wife and mother.

There are media reports that former President Donald J. Trump (R) will endorse Blanchard’s bid for governor. The Blanchards are Trump supporters and Trump appointed Blanchard as Ambassador to Slovenia – former First Lady Melania Trump’s home country.

Blanchard has been in the Senate race for months, but to this point has not gained much momentum. Every poll that has been released has shown Blanchard trailing Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) and former Business Council of Alabama President Katie Boyd Britt. Some recent polling has U.S. Army veteran and businessman Mike Durant moving ahead of Blanchard.

Greenville businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Tim James (R) filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday to enter the gubernatorial race. Lee County Pastor Dean Odle and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George are also opposing Ivey in the Republican primary. State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) has been campaigning for months but has not yet made a formal announcement whether he will run. King’s Home President Robert Lew Burdette, like James and Zeigler, has filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office in the Governor’s race, but reportedly has not made a final decision whether to run for the state’s highest office. LGBTQ activist Chris Countryman is the only Democratic candidate for Governor who has announced his candidacy to this point.

1819 News will have a reporter at an event Blanchard is hosting in Wetumpka today and will update this story as news breaks.

The Republican Primary is May 24, 2022.