By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, August 12, 2017: State Representative Jim Carns (R-Vestavia) told the Mid-Alabama Republican Club (MARC) that he expects Governor Kay Ivey (R) to run for the position in 2018.
Jim Carns was delivering his State Legislature report to the gathered Republican activists at the Vestavia Library. Carns said that Senate President Del Marsh (R-Anniston) recently announced that he is running for another term in the State Senate.
Carns said that that with the likely return of Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) that means that the Legislature will probably have the same leadership in the next term.
Carns said however that there is a very large turnover in the Legislature. Over thirty members of the House have announced they will not return. Carns said that that does not count election year “surprises” where the voters decide that a legislator is not going to return. Ten or twelve state Senators won’t be back and then there may be surprises from the voters there too.
Carns said, “There was talk of a Special Session. I do not think there will be a Special Session unless something happens.”
Carns said of Governor Kay Ivey said, “My assessment is the Governor will run for election.” With all the candidates running for office Carns predicted that Republican clubs like MARC are going to be packed houses in 2018.
Carns said, “Several of my brethren are not here they are at BCA.” Rep. Carns did not say whether he was one of the fifteen Legislators who were not invited to Billy Canary’s annual “business by the beach bash” or if he chose to boycott this year’s event.
State Representative Dickie Drake (R-Leeds) was also at the MARC meeting instead of attending the Business Council of Alabama annual event.
There are media reports that BCA CEO and President Billy Canary uninvited several Legislators because of their role in pushing a bill requiring that health insurers (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama) provide autism intervention coverage for children as a part of health insurance.
Former State Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) introduced the featured Speaker at the event, former State Representative Steve Flowers (R-Troy). DeMarco said that Flowers served in the State House for 16 years and has a home in Troy and a home here in Vestavia.
Flowers’ syndicated columns appear every week in the Alabama Political Reporter as well as other publications.
Flowers predicted that Roy Moore and Luther Strange will emerge on top in Tuesday’s Republican Primary and will advance to the GOP primary runoff on September 26.
Flowers predicted that Doug Jones will be the Democratic nominee for US Senate; but dismissed Jones as the “weakest possible” candidate with no chance at all of winning the seat no matter who the Republican nominee is.
Flowers said that when he was in the legislature it was Democratic Party controlled; but the body was divided back then into pro-tort reform and anti-tort reform camps. Many Representative then ran as Democrats but sided with Republicans and the business community against the trial lawyers over reforming Tort laws in the State.
Flowers said, “I have never served with finer individual that Bill Cabaniss, same with Jim Carns, same with Bill Armistead.”
Flowers said that whether you like Senator Richard Shelby (R) or not he is one of the three greatest Senators Alabama ever had, along with Lester Hill and John Sparkman. Bankhead is up there too. “Hill and Sparkman brought home the bacon. UAB hospital is here because of Lester Hill most rural hospitals are here because of Lester Hill. Redstone Arsenal is there because of Sparkman and Senator Shelby has carried on their legacy.”
Rep. Flowers credited Shelby with saving Attorney General Jeff Sessions when it appeared that President Trump was about to remove the popular former Alabama Senator. “There are about five Senators in this country that are more important than Trump.” The message was sent to the President that he would have serious problems if he messed with Sessions. “That was sent to him by McConnell and Shelby and several others.”
Flowers said that Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran is in such a deteriorated state that it is like the movie, ‘Weekend at Bernies.’ Flowers predicted that Shelby will have Cochran’s position as Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee in the next Congress.
Flowers said, “We really are a one party state, but you do have contested races here in Jefferson County. It is a swing county.” Flowers said that whether or not Gov. Kay Ivey runs for the office, there will be a crowded field with ten or twelve candidates running for Governor next year. There will also be a contested Chief Justice race and several candidates running for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.
Flowers is the author of the Alabama History book, “Ghosts and Governors.” He announced that he will have a new TV home for his analysis and will appear on CBS Channel 42 from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm on Tuesday, August 15 reporting on election results.
Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Sallie Bryant announced that the party is actively recruiting judicial candidates for the 2018 races.
Governor Kay Ivey was in her second term as Lieutenant Governor when Gov. Robert Bentley was forced from office in April due to allegations of campaign and ethics improprieties associated with his alleged extramarital affair with former staffer Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of campaign finance law violations and resigned before the legislature impeached him.
Gov. Kay Ivey is 72.
MARC meets on the second Saturday of each month at 8:30 am.