Alabama Primary Primer: Who’s Who in the Gubernatorial Race
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jas Orr
Alabama’s primary election is May 24. This year, there is a large pool of candidates for both the Democratic and Republican party. Here’s a look at the candidates.
Gov. Kay Ivey (incumbent)
Ivey is running for re-election. Ivey was elected lieutenant governor in 2010, and was appointed governor in 2017 after then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned in the wake of an ethics scandal. As the current incumbent, she has signed several contentious policies into effect, including raising the gas tax, anti-transgender legislation and statewide mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that she will continue to “fight for the little guy,” and will do this by creating new jobs, reforming education and helping veterans. For more information, visit their website.
After serving as an ambassador to Slovenia under the Trump Administration, Blanchard is running for governor. She is advocating for education reform, including wanting to punish teachers for teaching critical race theory and strongly supporting school choice. She has condemned Ivey for implementing mask mandates and says she will repeal the gas tax. For more information, visit their website.
Burdette is a businessman who has a strong conservative platform, which he says stems from a near-death experience in his teens. He condemns critical race theory and supports school choice. Additionally, he has strong positions on health care, including banning abortion, increasing mental health resources and repealing President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Burdette promises to create higher-paying jobs and says his background as president of King’s Home, a Birmingham-based Christian nonprofit, will help him accomplish that. For more information, visit their website.
George served as the commissioner for Morgan County from 2000 to 2008. His platform calls for reforms in education, healthcare and prison. George claims that he will reduce incarceration rates by 8% through his “Rock Solid Prison Reform” plan, which he has outlined on his campaign website. Furthermore, he advocates for the continuation of the Second Amendment and additional care for veterans. For more information, visit their website.
James cites his background in business and family ties as the basis for his strong conservative views. He stands against abortion, marraige equality, federal mandates, illegal immigration, medical marajuana, gambling and the recent gas tax. He supports education reform, including banning critical race theory and supporting school choice. James said on his website that his platform will “fight the culture war.” For more information, visit their website.
Donald Trent Jones
Jones’ platform revolves around yoga. His slogan, “Make America Grateful Again,” references his idea that yoga, which he wants to introduce into school curriculums, will help people be more mindful. Additionally, he advocates for the decriminalization of marajuana, stating that it would help keep Alabamians out of prison. For more information, visit their social media.
As the founder and pastor of Fire & Grace Church in Opelika, Odle decided to run for governor following what he called on his campaign website the “mishandling of the Coronavirus ‘pandemic.’ ” He also says he wants to take a stand against the “New World Order” and “communism.” Odle is against abortion and vaccine mandates. He also advocates for the upholding of the second amendment. For more information, visit their website.
Thomas supports the legalization of cannabis and wants education and election reform. Additionally, he wants to repeal grocery, income and property taxes. He also advocates for gun rights. Thomas is currently mayor of Springfield. For more information, visit their website.
Young calls himself a fiscal, moral and political conservative. He is against abortion, same-sex marriage, vaccine and mask mandates, and says that critical race theory and common core curriculum “have no place in the classroom.” Young also promises that he would not implement any new taxes. For more information, visit their website.
Flowers worked in education for 20 years, influencing much of her platform. She wants reform in education, focusing on bettering public schools with better-trained teachers and desegregating schools. Additionally, she presented her Reconstructed Healthcare Plan Options, which she says will benefit working class and elderly citizens, as well as small businesses. Flowers also advocates for criminal justice reform to lower the number of incarcerated people in the state. She has a strong Christian message, and references the Bible as her inspiration for her campaign. For more information, visit their website.
Having worked in health care, Jamieson says she is passionate about providing increased access to health care across the state, which includes increasing the coverage of the Affordable Care Act, and helping get healthcare to rural areas. Additionally, she wants to raise the minimum wage to create living wages for Alabamians. Jamieson also encourages the legalization of the lottery to help fund education reform. For more information, visit their website.
A veteran of the United States Navy, Kennedy is running for governor in order to “change the laws of Alabama.” He advocates for education reform, including added incentives for teachers and providing affordable college for students. Kennedy also supports increased gun control. For more information, visit their website.
Chad “Chig” Martin
Martin wants to encourage business development and industry recruitment in Alabama. He advocates for legalizing the lottery, casinos, public education reform and affordable health care. Martin says he believes in “natural medicine,” and fully supports the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. Though he has the COVID-19 vaccine, Martin does not support vaccine mandates. For more information, visit their website.
She is currently serving in the Alabama State Senate for District 23, and has been since 2018. No other information is available.
Smith says he will improve economic growth, combat hyperinflation and help small businesses. No other information is available.