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After Scott Dawson’s release of medical information, Gov. Ivey is the only GOP holdout

Chip Brownlee

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Birmingham evangelist Scott Dawson, one of four GOP gubernatorial primary candidates, became the third candidate to release medical information from his doctor on Tuesday.

After Dawson’s release of his medical information, that leaves Gov. Kay Ivey, who is seeking her first full term as governor, as the only GOP candidate who has yet to release her medical information. Republican candidates Tommy Battle, 62, the mayor of Huntsville, and State Sen. Bill Hightower,  58, released theirs over the past two weeks.

Dawson’s primary care physician, Dr. Aubrey D. Scott, from Chelsea, wrote in a letter Tuesday that Dawson, 50, has no medical issues or concerns and has never had any history of the use of tobacco, drugs or ingestion of alcohol.

“Scott is, in my opinion, in excellent physical health,” the doctor wrote in a letter released by Dawson’s campaign, “having no abnormalities or concerns as to his current medical condition.”

Dawson received a chest X-Ray, which was clear of any pulmonary disease including COPD, and an electrocardiogram to examine his heart function, which showed no abnormalities nor irregularities with a normal waveform and heart rate, his doctor said.

“Mr. Dawson neither has a history of any cardiovascular disease nor has a history or indication of a cerebrovascular event (stroke),” she wrote.

Blood work on the GOP candidate showed a normal, complete blood count, and his metabolic panel was within normal limits without abnormalities, according to the doctor.

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With all of her challengers releasing their medical information, mounting pressure has been placed on Ivey — who is 73 and the oldest candidate in the gubernatorial race — to release her own medical information.

Battle’s doctor, Dr. Jeffrey G. Garber, said in a letter last week that Battle’s health was very good and that there is no physical evidence of any underlying medical conditions.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Battle’s health will enable him to perform the duties of Governor of the state of Alabama,” Garber wrote.

Tommy Battle releases medical information as pressure mounts for Gov. Ivey to do the same

Battle and Dawson did not release copies of any medical test results, instead opting to release only letters from their doctors. Hightower’s campaign released more than a dozen pages of medical test results that included a routine colonoscopy, a cardiac calcium scan, a heart stress test and a blood panel.

Hightower’s doctor, Dr. Gamil S. Dawood, said in a letter that Hightower was in a state of “excellent physical health.” The GOP state senator was the first to release his medical records earlier this month and called on the other GOP candidates to do the same.

Hightower releases medical records, calls on all gubernatorial candidates to do the same

On the Democratic side, Democratic candidate and former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, 62, told Huntsville television station WHNT that she is in good health and plans to release her records.

A spokesperson for Democratic candidate and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, 45, has not responded to a request for information about his medical records.

Ivey last week brushed aside questions about whether she would release her medical records, and her campaign has not responded to a request for comment. Ivey, who is considered the front-runner in the race in both polling and fundraising, has not said if she would release her medical records.

Ivey brushes aside questions about her health records as opponents plan to release theirs

It’s not abnormal in high-profile political races for candidates to release medical records or medical information from their doctors. Presidential candidates often share their medical records, and the press is typically briefed on the president’s medical condition.

The practice is more common in gubernatorial races in other states.

None of the GOP candidates have directly or publicly addressed Ivey’s health, though it has been a topic of conversation since she assumed the office from former Gov. Robert Bentley last year when he resigned amid a sex scandal and subsequent investigations.

In a May 2017 report from the Alabama Political Reporter, sources close to the governor said she had suffered from stroke-like attacks during a trip to a conference in Colorado in 2015. The attacks left her confused and disoriented, the sources said.

Ivey and her office later pushed back against the report. At a press conference later that month, she promised she was healthy.

“My health is fine. I’ve never felt better,” Ivey said in May 2017. “What’s the old saying? There’s never a step too high for a high stepper.”

Ivey’s staff at the time blamed a hospitalization on lightheadedness that was the result of altitude sickness. But numerous sources told APR last year that staff in the then-lieutenant governor’s office tried to cover up a four-day hospitalization during the trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Governor’s Office says 2015 hospitalization was the result of altitude sickness

The release of the candidates’ medical records comes as less than a month remains before the June 5 GOP primary election. The general election is set for November.

 

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