GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson on Thursday said Gov. Kay Ivey’s most recent ad, which gives Ivey credit for fighting corruption and cleaning up Montgomery, doesn’t pass the smell test.
“She’s promised to clean up Montgomery while her actions stink to high heaven,” Dawson said. “Kay Ivey’s pattern of saying one thing and pulling an about-face just weeks later doesn’t pass the smell test. I know a forty-year career politician when I see one and I won’t have it.”
In the ad, entitled “Seafood,” Ivey says she grew up on a cattle farm in the small town of Camden in Wilcox County, making reference to a special Southern dish.
“Don’t give me a mountain oyster and tell me it’s seafood,” Ivey says in the ad. “I know corruption when I see it, and we are not having it.”
A mountain oyster is a dish made of bull testicles that are typically deep fried.
“Kay Ivey might know the difference between a Gulf Oyster and a Mountain Oyster, but does she know the difference between a house cat and a polecat?” Dawson said of Ivey’s ad.
Dawson, a conservative evangelist from Birmingham, is running for the GOP nomination for governor against Ivey. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and State Sen. Bill Hightower are also running.
Throughout the ad, Ivey takes credit for recent job growth in Alabama and the state’s record-low unemployment rate.
“We’ve cleaned up the mess, and we’re growing record jobs,” Ivey says in the ad.
Dawson didn’t buy it.
“The people of Alabama are tired of electing politicians who keep us at the bottom forty of every single significant national ranking,” Dawson said. “I am a conservative leader from the outside who has a vision to regain the people’s trust, make Montgomery serve the people again, and restore faith in Alabama’s future.”
Her ad claims credit for the recent announcement that Toyota Mazda would be bringing a new $1.6 billion manufacturing facility to Huntsville that will directly create at least 4,000 jobs in and around Huntsville. Another 10,000 are expected indirectly.
Battle, who was heavily involved in the negotiations, has criticized Ivey for taking credit for the deal. The state provided $390 million in incentives for the facility, but Huntsville is matching that with $320 million.
Ivey is the only GOP candidate in the gubernatorial race so far to release television ads, and this one is her third in recent weeks.
The governor, who replaced former Gov. Robert Bentley in April 2017 after a spiraling sex scandal took down his administration, is far outraising her opponents in the race. According to her most recent campaign reports filed this week, Ivey has raised more than $3.2 million and has more than $2.1 million in cash on hand.
Battle, who is Ivey’s closest competition when it comes to fundraising, has about $1.35 million in cash on hand after raising $1.8 million, according to his most recent filings from earlier this month.
Dawson has raised $731,782 and has $321,368 in cash on hand, according to his most recent reports filed earlier this month, and Hightower has rasied $860,847 and has $419,048 in cash on hand.