Nine candidates are running in the Republican primary election for governor of Alabama on May 24, 2022. Three candidates—incumbent Kay Ivey (R), Lynda Blanchard (R), and Tim James (R)—have led the field in fundraising and media coverage.
Ivey was first elected governor in 2018, defeating Walt Maddox (D) 60% to 40%. Before becoming governor, she served as lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2017 and as state treasurer from 2003 to 2011. In a campaign ad, Ivey highlighted her record, saying, “There’s no critical race theory in our schools, I signed the strongest pro-life law in America, I stood with Trump to ensure no election here can ever be stolen, and we created thousands of new jobs.”
Blanchard worked in real estate and founded an international nonprofit that aimed to address poverty. In 2019, Blanchard President Donald Trump (R) appointed Blanchard as the ambassador to Slovenia. In a campaign ad, Blanchard said, “I will use my business experience to create jobs, end vaccine and mask mandates, improve our schools, and restore election security.”
James is a businessman working as the president of Tim James Inc., a company that uses private investments to build bridges, roads, and other types of infrastructure. He has worked in the construction, transportation, and finance industries. In a campaign ad, James said, “[The left] think America is racist. They think our founding fathers were wrong. They think there are 50 genders, and they want to teach this to our children. […] It is time to fight back.”
Gas prices have been a subject of debate among the candidates. Alabama approved a state gas tax increase of 10 cents per gallon in 2019, with the possibility of increases up to one cent every two years. Revenue from the tax was directed toward road and bridge construction. Blanchard said, “we have struggling families and business while our state sits on a surplus and spends enough money to make a drunken sailor blush,” and supported temporarily suspending state taxes on gas. James said, “every time I turn around, every day, I see an announcement about the governor handing out more money to these pet projects,” and said he supported repealing the 2019 increase. Ivey said there were other factors behind high gas prices, saying, “Let’s not lose sight of the main problem here, and that’s Joe Biden’s policies. He’s got inflation at a 40-year record high.”
Lew Burdette (R), Stacy George (R), Donald Jones (R), Dean Odle (R), Dave Thomas (R), and Dean Young (R) are also running in the primary.
A Republican has held the Alabama governorship since the 2002 elections, which was also the last time an incumbent governor lost election in the state.