By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has filed the campaign finance paperwork needed to run for a full-term next year, according to documents filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.
Ivey filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday, Aug. 18. The paperwork, which establishes a campaign committee, all but confirms that Ivey will run for re-election.
“Governor Ivey continues to seriously consider her future. She is always prepared to be successful and is strongly leaning toward a decision,” said Ivey’s spokesman, Daniel Sparkman.
The filing comes after months of waiting to see if the incumbent Governor would seek re-election. She has repeatedly denied commenting on whether she would seek re-election, citing her desire to “steady the ship of state” before deciding if she would run for a full term.
Over the past several weeks, several candidates who had filed to run for Governor or were considering it changed their candidacy to other offices or said they would not seek the post, essentially moving over for Ivey to run.
Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh changed from the gubernatorial race to the race for Lieutenant Governor last week, citing her desire not to run against Ivey.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, who was considering a run for Governor, also said he would not seek the office and said he wanted to work with governor Ivey, who at that time had not announced her intentions.
Ivey’s team last week filed paperwork reserving a name for a non-profit campaign for re-election. The paperwork, which reserves the non-profit “Kay Ivey for Governor, Inc.” was filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Aug. 16.
APR also confirmed last week that Ivey was intent on running for a full-term. Then the move of reserving the campaign name was further indication that Ivey was going to run for re-election. But the paperwork today confirms that she is running.
Ivey ascended to the post in April after former Gov. Robert Bentley was forced out. He resigned and pleaded guilty to two campaign finance violations after being accused of having an affair with a former top political aide.
Since the transition, Ivey — who served as Lieutenant Governor from 2010-2016 — has made a point of separating herself from Bentley’s legacy. She has asked several of his top cabinet appointees to resign and even overturned his decision to set the US Senate Special Election for next year.
Ivey moved it to December after calls from both Democrats and Republicans who thought the expanse of time between Sen. Luther Strange’s appointment and his first election would give him an unfair advantage.
Though Ivey may have agreed with Bentley on some key aspects of policy, including prison construction, she has shown a tendency to part with his decision calculus in other areas.
A Morning Consult poll conducted from April 1 to July 10, the results of which were released last month, listed Ivey as the sixth most popular Governor in the country, touting a 64-percent approval rating. Her disapproval rating of 13 percent is also the lowest of all 50 Governors.
Ivey will face a crowded field of Republican candidates if she chooses to move ahead with her campaign. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan and Sen. Bill Hightower have all announced their intentions to run, and all three have large amounts of cash on hand after fundraising over the summer.