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Tommy Battle campaigns in Dekalb County

Gubernatorial candidate Tommy Battle was among a number of Republican statewide candidates that were in Dekalb County on Friday at a candidate’s forum hosted by State Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, and State Senator Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro.

Battle touted his experience as mayor of Huntsville and the rising economic tide in North Alabama.

“All of us have been part of a great success,” Battle told the Northeast Alabama crowd.

“Ten years ago, I set a plan to make growth happen,” Battle said. “Our area has grown by 24,000 jobs over the last ten years. That means we have offered opportunity. An opportunity for a young person to get a job and put a roof over their heads.”

Battle said that that economic success has benefited all of North Alabama. “We have made our area grow. We have made our area prosperous. If we add the same number of job to each congressional district would be 180,00 jobs.”

“What if we did the same thing in all of Alabama?” Battle said that his son finished college after studying banking. He went to work in the big city. He eventually called Mayor Battle and said that the growth in Huntsville had led to a number of new banks opening there and that he had been offered a bank branch manager’s job in Huntsville. “I think I am coming home.”

Battle said that his son could say, “’I am coming home’ because of the opportunity that we have made across North Alabama. Now we have got to do it in the whole state. Lets link arms and vote for a governor that will make the whole state grow.”

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Battle said, “We have to build roads.”

On Tuesday we go to the polls to elect a governor Battle said.

“That governor has to provide us leadership for the next four years to make this state into a state that we can be proud of,” Battle said.

The luncheon forum was held at the North East Alabama Agra Center in Rainsville.

Battle faces a crowded GOP primary field. Kay Ivey has been governor for over 13 months. Evangelist Scott Dawson and State Senator Bill Hightower are also running for the office.

According to filings with the Secretary of State’s office, to this point the Republicans running for Governor have raised $10,309,674.14. Battle has raised $2,463,099.00. Dawson has raised $850,116.00. Hightower has raised $1,134,321.66. Ivey has raised the more money than the other three combined at $4,327,963.63.

Twinkle Cavanaugh moved to the lieutenant governor’s race after Ivey signaled her intention to run. John McMillan moved to the treasurer’s race. David Carrington, Stacy George, Joshua Jones and Tommy Tuberville all explored running for governor but either never moved beyond the exploratory committee stage or dropped out of the race in 2017.

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The polls open at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 7:00 p.m.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election on November 6.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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