Sitting Republican Gov. Kay Ivey may be gearing up to announce she is running for election in her own right next year.
Ivey ascended to the Governor’s Mansion in April after former Republican Gov. Robert Bentley resigned the office amid controversy. Since taking over the office, she has enjoyed some of the highest approval and lowest disapproval ratings among sitting governors nationwide.
Ivey publicly weighed in on her 2018 plans in June, when she told reporters she would wait until the fall to announce whether she would run, but announcements from another would-be candidate may have telegraphed the longtime elected official’s next move.
Anniston Republican Sen. Del Marsh, whose gubernatorial aspirations are well-known, announced last week that he would run for re-election to the senate, and even added that he looked forward to working with Kay Ivey in the future “if she decides to run” for a full term.
Later in the week, Ivey reportedly made “the call” to several big names in the business community and state legislature to tell them of her intentions.
While the content of those calls was not confirmed, Ivey spokesman Daniel Sparkman said the sitting governor “is considering her options” and that she “plans to decide in the near future.”
The speed at which she decides could be influenced by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who is already in the race and is currently leading the pack in fundraising.
Whether or not Ivey can slow Battle down on the fundraising trail, she could likely look forward to racking up some early wins on the trail by forcing her competitors to change their tack.
So far, most of the 2018 crop has run on bringing honor and credibility back to the Governor’s Mansion — a strategy that would have played well directly following Bentley, but which is likely to fall flat running against a governor with approval ratings like Ivey’s.