By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The race for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor is highly competitive with no clear front runner as the candidates all work on establishing name recognition with voters.
The candidates all reported competitive fundraising in October. Will Ainsworth, Rusty Glover, and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh have all declared that they are running for the office in the 2018 Republican Primary.
State Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, had a beginning balance coming into October of $1,058,437.65. Ainsworth reported cash contributions of $45,075. Ainsworth reported expenditures of $15,2034.79 and line of credit expenditures of $1,336.96 for an ending balance of $1,088,277.86.
Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh entered October with a beginning balance of $614,617.33. She reported cash contributions of $10,250 and in-kind contributions of $1,490.80. She reported itemized expenditures of $13,781.10 and an ending balance of $611,093.23.
Cavanaugh started in the Governor’s race; but after it became apparent that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey would run for Governor herself in the 2018 Republican Primary.
State Senator Benjamin “Rusty” Glover, R-Semmes, reported a beginning balance of $49,423.48. Glover reported cash contributions of $15,166.80 and in-kind contributions of $1,498.75. Glover also reported that he had October expenditures of $14,224.60 and line of credit expenditures of $592.48 for an ending balance of $50,365.68.
State school board member Mary Scott Hunter had announced her candidacy; but she has recently declared that she will run for the state Senate instead.
There is no Democratic candidate declared for Lieutenant Governor at this point; though there is speculation from Democratic insiders that former state Rep. James Fields who is currently a declared candidate for governor may switch to the lieutenant governor’s race. Fields ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2014; but was soundly defeated by incumbent Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey.
While Republicans have dominated state wide races for governor and U.S. Senator; Democrats have had lots of success, until rvery ecently, in Lt. Gov. races where Alabama voters had been splitting their tickets between the two parties. State Treasurer Kay Ivey shocked many political observers when she defeated former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. in 2010.
That was the first time a single party had won both of the state’s top two offices since 1982. When Gov. Bob Riley was re-elected in 2006 defeating Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley; voters also elected former Governor Jim Folsom as Lt. Gov. When then Congressman Bob Riley defeated Gov. Don Siegelman in 2002; they also elected then state Treasurer Lucy Baxley as Lt. Gov. When then Lt. Gov. Don Siegelman defeated Gov. Fob James in 1998; they elected Steve Windom to be the first Republican Lieutenant Governor since 1874.
Ivey became Governor in April; when then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned after the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee had begun impeachment hearings for financial improprieties surrounding a sex scandal.
The major party primaries are on June 5, 2018.