Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) avoids a runoff, beating eight challengers in the Republican primary
Incumbent Kay Ivey (R) defeated eight Republican primary candidates for governor of Alabama on May 24, 2022. She led the field with 55% of the vote, followed by Lynda Blanchard (R) at 19% and Tim James (R) at 16. %. No other candidate obtained more than 10% of the vote.
A candidate had to win the primary with more than 50% of the vote to qualify for the general election.
Ivey was first elected governor in 2018, beating Walt Maddox (D) 60% to 40%. Prior to becoming governor, Ivey served as lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2017 and state treasurer from 2003 to 2011. In a campaign ad, Ivey highlighted his record, saying, “There is no critical theory of race in our schools, I signed the strongest pro-life in America act, I supported Trump to ensure that no election here could ever be stolen, and we’ve created thousands of new jobs.
Ivey, Blanchard and James led the pack in fundraising and media coverage. Lew Burdette (R), Stacy George (R), Donald Jones (R), Dean Odle (R), Dave Thomas (R) and Dean Young (R) also participated in the primary.
Gas prices in the state were a key issue in the race. Alabama approved a state gasoline tax increase of 10 cents per gallon in 2019, with the option to increase up to one cent every two years. Revenues from the tax were directed to building roads and bridges. Blanchard said “we have struggling families and businesses as our state sits on a surplus and spends enough money to make a drunken sailor blush”, and supported the temporary suspension of state taxes on the ‘essence. James said: ‘Every time I turn around, every day, I see an announcement that the governor is doling out more money to these pet projects,’ and said he supported repealing the 2019 increase Ivey said there were other factors affecting gas prices, saying, “Let’s not lose sight of the main issue here, and that’s Joe Biden’s politics. It has inflation at a 40-year high.
Prior to the election, a Republican had served as governor of Alabama since the 2002 election, which was also the last time an incumbent governor was defeated in the state.