By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, announced that he will not run for Governor of Alabama. Instead, Byrne will seek a third-term representing Alabama’s First Congressional District in 2018. Byrne expects Governor Kay Ivey (R) to run for the office next year.
The popular Gulf Coast Congressman said, “I have made the decision; I will not run for governor next year. After speaking with Gov. Ivey, I think it’s important for the state that we have continuity and stability.”
Rep. Byrne said that he would not run for Governor unless current Gov. Kay Ivey decides not to run. “I’d love to be the Governor of Alabama, but I don’t think that’s the best decision for me or for the State right now. However, if for some reason, Gov. Ivey changes her mind, I might change my mind. I don’t believe Gov. Ivey is going to change her mind, though.”
Congressman Byrne made the announcement Wednesday morning in Bay Minette speaking to the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce.
Byrne, who ran for Governor unsuccessfully in 2010, said he had been approached by supporters across the State encouraging him to run again and he told them he would be making the decision on whether or not to run before the end of the summer.
Byrne is concerned about Alabama’s anemic growth. “We have been growing, but not nearly like the national average. People in Washington tell me we’re right on the cusp of losing a congressional seat. That’s a sign we have not made the progress in this state we need to make.”
Baldwin, Lee, and Madison are the counties with the most growth since the Great Recession.
Byrne received the Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during the event.
Governor Ivey has not formally announced she is running for Governor in 2018, but multiple sources close to the Governor have told the Alabama Political Reporter she will run. She has filed paperwork with the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office to form a principal campaign committee.
Gov. Ivey, who is 72, has won two terms as Lieutenant Governor. Before that, she was State treasurer. Ivey was elevated to the office in April when then-Governor Robert Bentley (R) resigned to avoid impeachment over allegations of ethics and campaign finance irregularities. Gov. Bentley’s “luv guv” sex scandal with a married staffer ended both his 50-year marriage and his second term as Governor.
Congressman Byrne has served the people of Alabama in the Congress, the State Senate, on the State School Board, and as head of the State’s Two-Year College System, in the aftermath of the massive Roy Johnson bribery and public corruption scandal. Byrne ran for Governor in 2010. He had the most votes in the Republican Primary but was defeated by Bentley in the Republican runoff.
The Republican Primary will be on June 5, 2018.
Original reporting by the Gulf Coast News Today’s Cliff McCollum and the Alabama Media Group’s John Sharp contributed to this report.