Tim James has finally let the poorly kept secret out of the bag — he’s running for governor. James, a businessman and son of a former governor, filed paperwork last week with the Alabama Secretary of State declaring his intention to challenge Republican incumbent Kay Ivey.
James has been somewhat quietly building a campaign committee over the last few months, and gauging both the financial and public interest in a gubernatorial campaign that positions itself to the right of Ivey.
Ivey, one of the country’s most popular governors, has angered base Republicans around Alabama by implementing a COVID-19 shutdown and establishing mask mandates. (Both actions were widely praised by medical professionals in a state with the second-highest per capita COVID death rate.)
James, who has run for governor unsuccessfully twice previously, believes there is a lane, and his re-introductory press conference in September — during which he bashed trans kids, yoga and Critical Race Theory — was evidence.
However, James could quickly see his lane crowded. Current U.S. Senate candidate Linda Blanchard is reportedly set to announce her own gubernatorial campaign in the coming days, according to CNN.
Blanchard, a former ambassador under former President Trump, would also set up to the right of Ivey. Blanchard would also be seeking Trump’s endorsement.
Blanchard, James and anyone else challenging Ivey would have their work cut out for them. Ivey recently scored eighth in a popularity poll of America’s governors, according to Morning Consult.