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Chris Countryman forms exploratory committee on running for governor

Countryman was a 2018 candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Chris Countryman

Christopher Countryman on Thursday announced that he is forming an exploratory committee looking at running for governor in 2022. The southwest Alabama Democrat said that if he runs that he will be seeking to run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year.

“Over the past few months many people in Alabama have asked me what my future political plans are and if I had any plans to run for office again at some point,” Countryman said in a statement. “This question seems to be a direct result of how our current government is navigating our state through the storms of Alabama’s past and present. Like many of you, I have noticed that our state’s path towards progress has been covered by dark stains of social injustices and wealth inequality which have been left behind by elected leaders who to this day continue to fail the people of Alabama.”

“Looking at where Alabama ranks nationally it is clear that our elected officials have obviously not been successfully steering the ship and navigating Alabama forward,” Countryman said. “Overall Alabama ranks 46th in performance throughout the nation. We are 45th in healthcare, 47th in education, 38th in our economy, 28th in infrastructure, 37th in opportunity, 22nd in fiscal stability, 43rd in crime and corrections and 37th in natural environment. These statistics, from a 2021 report put out by U.S. News & World Report LP., serve as a grim reminder that our elected officials continue to let the people of Alabama down, placing our state’s future success in grave danger.”

“Because of this I have decided to form an exploratory committee, effective immediately, to evaluate and explore the opportunity to campaign as a Democrat to become your next Governor,” Countryman said. “Over the next few months I will be speaking to people from all over the state and listening to their concerns about where we are as a state and where we are headed. This will allow me to make an educated decision as to my next course of action.”

If elected, Countryman would be the first openly gay man to hold any statewide office in the state of Alabama.

Countryman was a 2018 candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, ultimately losing the nomination to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. The Republican nominee, Gov. Kay Ivey, then trounced Maddox in the 2018 general election.

At this point, Countryman is the only Democrat even publicly talking about running for any statewide office. Ivey has already announced that she is running for a second term as governor. Ivey is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Lee County Pastor Dean Odle.

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The major party primaries are just 11 months away on May 24, 2022.

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

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