MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — There are four candidates vying to be the Republican nominee for governor.
Current Governor Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, state Senator Bill Hightower, and evangelist Scott Dawson are currently running for governor.
Governor Kay Ivey became governor a year ago after Robert Bentley resigned from office. In one year’s time, Ivey touts bringing more jobs to Alabama.
“We’ve started some really good moves toward improving our great state and giving more opportunities to our people,” Governor Ivey said.
Her opponent Tommy Battle says he should get credit for potentially bringing the most jobs to the state by recruiting the likes of Toyota and Mazda to build in the Huntsville area.
“We brought it Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Palrius, Remington, GE Aviation and finally Toyota and Mazda,” Battle said.
State senator Bill Hightower is hoping his relationship with the legislature will make him a strong candidate for governor.
“I’ve been serving in the Senate for five years and I’ve seen the areas of the state that we need
to address,” Hightower said. “And there are problems that we need to focus on, so I’m going to bring all of that knowledge with me when I come to Montgomery.”
An evangelist from Birmingham believes he can bring a different type of leadership to Montgomery. Scott Dawson is campaigning on bringing all parties together to work as one.
“You’re going to see some that are going to say they want a seasoned politician, others are going to say they want a business person,” Dawson said. “I go, I think more than ever Alabama needs a leader that can bring unity to our state and can articulate a vision.”
As candidates travel the state, questions about a lottery continue to come up.
“To me, the lottery is no more than a financial tool,” Battle said. “I think the people need to vote on it. It’s a different form of taxation and it’s a different form than we’ve seen before.”
“I’m all in favor of people voting on any constitutional amendment, as long as both sides are presented fairly. You wouldn’t want either side to have undo-influence,” Governor Ivey said.
Candidates Hightower and Dawson feel a lottery would do more harm than good.
“The lottery is an awful way to fund government. Three years ago, 20 states had budgetary crisis and 19 of those had a lottery,” Hightower said.
“If gambling is always the answer, why are our neighboring states still struggling with the same issue?” Dawson asked. “We’ve got to look to the future and not just keep Alabama in the past.”