Ivey announces bid for reelection in 2022

Gov. Kay Ivey has announced she will run for reelection next year.

Ivey’s campaign made the announcement with the release of a video this week on Twitter.

“Alabama is working again, and the best is yet to come. I’m all in for re-election — will you join me?” the governor said.

Ivey has been governor since April 2017 when she moved up from lieutenant governor to replace Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned.

Voters elected Ivey to a full term in 2018, making her the second woman and the first Republican woman to be elected governor.

The primary is May 24, 2022.

Ivey made a campaign stop at Derk’s Filet & Vine restaurant at noon in Montgomery.

“There’s a lot more work yet to be done,” Ivey said. “We’ve created jobs but we’ve got more work to do. That’s the reason I’m running.”

Ivey mentioned several issues for a second term, including the need for new men’s prisons. Ivey’s plans for the state to lease and operate prisons financed and built by private developers has stalled because the developers could not obtain financing.

“One is meaningful education reform,” the governor said about second-term goals. “Certainly we’ll finish out the prison project. We’ll be working with legislators on that project. And keeping our people employed gainfully. And adding more jobs to the total that we have already.”

The Alabama Democratic Party released a statement saying Ivey has not helped solve the state’s most serious problems.

“Kay Ivey claims that Alabama has a ‘future brighter than any other in America,’ but after more than a decade of total Republican control, Alabama consistently ranks at the bottom of nearly every list, whether it’s healthcare, education, or vaccinations,” the party said.

The Democrats said Alabama needs a governor who will support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, legalizing marijuana, fixing the criminal justice system to reduce incarcerations, and expanding Medicaid.

Ivey spent much of the first part of her administration saying her goal was to “steady the ship” after the scandal that led to Bentley’s resignation.

After winning a full term, she worked with the Republican-led Legislature to pass the first increase in the state gasoline tax since 1992 to support road and bridge projects. The governor also signed into law the toughest anti-abortion bill in the nation, one that would ban almost all abortions. It has been blocked by a federal court.

Ivey has focused on the state’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate fell to historic lows before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020.

The pandemic came to shape much of Ivey’s fourth year as governor. Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris issued a series of “Safer at Home” emergency orders that restricted public gatherings and business activities and required face coverings in public. When vaccines became available, Ivey was quick to get shots and urge others to do the same as soon as possible.

In early May, the governor said “this is absolutely now a managed pandemic” and announced that the public health orders would end May 31, with the emergency order in place until July 6.

On her video this week, Ivey mentioned some of the high points of her administration, including the low unemployment and the state’s largest-ever education budget. She talked about the challenge of the pandemic.

“The COVID crisis has tested us all,” Ivey said. “But together, we’ve met the call. With the same things that make us who we are. Faith. Resilience. And a good old fashioned bucket load of common sense. The result, a future brighter than any other in America.”

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