By Brandon Moseley
On Monday, Greenville businessman Tim James said on talk radio, "I think we are heading in that direction," when asked if he was running for governor by talk radio host former State Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City).
James said, "It's been under consideration many months. This past weekend, Thanksgiving weekend, the family was here and it's a family decision. I'm not new at this. I've been down this road before."
James said that if he enters the governor's race, his campaign will not launch until January.
"Unless something unusual happens, I think we'll be in this race with a final kickoff in early January, the first two weeks of January," James added.
James has been openly campaigning for governor for weeks as he has crisscrossed the state visiting with Republican and conservative groups, including the Republican Shelby County Executive Committee.
Williams is the host of Rightside Radio, which airs across the greater Huntsville radio market. Williams served two terms in the Alabama Senate after unseating longtime Democratic incumbent Larry Means in 2010. Williams was a longtime officer in the U.S. Army and is a practicing attorney.
James is the son of former Gov. Fob James, who was elected as a Democrat for one term in 1978 and then elected again in 1994 as a Republican. Tim James ran in both 2002 and 2010, both times failing to win the Republican nomination.
If James runs, he would challenge incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who was elevated to governor in 2017 when Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned. Ivey was elected in her own right in 2018.
At this point, Ivey is already facing Republican primary challenges from Lee County Pastor Dean Odle and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George. George challenged Bentley unsuccessfully in 2014. State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) is also campaigning for governor, but has not formally announced whether or not he will enter the race. U.S. Senate candidate and former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard has acknowledged that many people have asked her to switch from the Senate to the governor's race. There are rumors of other candidates considering entering the gubernatorial race. Republican qualifying does not end until Jan. 28.
At this point, Dothan area LGBTQ activist Chris Countryman is the only announced Democratic candidate.
The Republican primary will be on May 24, 2022.