Tommy Battle extends debate invitation to Kay Ivey, awaits response

Kay Ivey_Tommy Battle

Huntsville Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Battle on Tuesday extended an invitation to Governor Kay Ivey to appear with him at several political events, candidate forums, and debates across the state.

Battle sent his request via e-mail to Ivey’s team on Tuesday, and although they acknowledged they received the invitation, as of Wednesday Ivey’s team had yet to deliver a response.

Kay Ivey Democrat State Auditor
Montgomery Advertiser article on the 1982 State Auditor race. [Click to enlarge]

Battle’s formal invitation to Ivey is a nod to a move Ivey herself made in 1982. When running as a Democrat for State Auditor, she sent her opponent Jan Cook a telegram invitation to appear across the state with her to discuss their respective qualifications. Cook said her scheduled as already full and denied Ivey’s request. Ivey then proceeded to hold a a news conferences on the capitol steps in Montgomery, with an empty chair labeled with her Cook’s name, sitting beside her; making blatant note of her absence.

Earlier this month Ivey made a comment to the Associated Press that she would be happy to take part in debates.

Battle agreed and announced that he would take Ivey up on that offer, “all residents of Alabama deserve to hear from each candidate, personally, about their qualifications and their vision for our great state, especially since neither of us have yet to be elected Governor.” His e-mail to Ivey is a formal invitation to initiate that process.

Battle has committed to attend the following events, and hopes that Ivey will also attend:

  • April 12 – 7 a.m.: A debate hosted by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • April 12 – 7 p.m.: A debate hosted by NBC 13 in Birmingham
  • April 14 – 8 a.m.: A candidate forum hosted by the Mid Alabama Republican Club in Birmingham
  • May  9 – 2 p.m.: A candidate forum hosted by the Association of Builders and Contractors in Huntsville
  • May 10 – 11:30 a.m.: A candidate forum hosted by the Moody Area Chamber of Commerce

Whether or not Battle be attending the events an empty chair by his side… that remains to be seen.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

I know you believe the people of the state of Alabama are important to both of us.

Our campaign is constantly talking about the importance of economic development, repairing our roads and bridges and how to boost education as a whole across all of Alabama.

We both agree Alabamians deserve to hear from us, personally, about our vision to lead our state into the 21st century, since neither of us have yet been elected as governor.

I want to extend an invitation to you to appear with me at debates, candidate forums and political events throughout the state to discuss our individual records and qualifications to be elected governor.

I look forward to your response. I wish you and your campaign staff safe travels as the Republican primary approaches.

Kay Ivey Democrat State Auditor