Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox joins crowded 2018 Gubernatorial field

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Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox officially announced he will run for governor of Alabama next year in a video announcement Thursday morning.

In the video, Maddox said his announcement was “not a celebration” but “a call to action.”

He went on to explain that the state has a “crisis in our leadership” as evidenced by the many political scandals in the past year, referencing the exits of former Gov. Robert Bentley, former House Speaker Mike Hubbard and former Ala. Chief Justice Roy Moore.

“In the past 18 months, the Governor, the Speaker, the Chief Justice, and the Majority Leader have left office in shame. And, when courage was required, silence was the only response from Montgomery’s leaders,” Maddox said in a press release. “The crisis of leadership has led to a crisis in state government where Alabama still ranks near the bottom in every quality of life indicator from education to health care. Preserving the status quo is not a strategy for creating a brighter future for all Alabamians.”

Maddox says he will rebuild faith in state government, rebuild the state for new and higher paying jobs, rebuild the state’s education and health care system, as well as the state’s infrastructure.

Three months ago, Maddox announced the formation of a committee to explore seeking the state’s highest office as a Democrat and wait until 2018 to decide whether or not he was going to run. On Thursday Maddox said “the time for exploration is over.” Since his announcement, 319 individuals invested in his exploratory campaign — more than any declared candidate for governor during the same time period.

Maddox, 44, has served Tuscaloosa’s mayor since 2005. He’s a graduated of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration.

He is the second high-profile Democrat to join the crowded field of gubernatorial hopefuls, joining former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in seeking the Democratic nomination. On the other side of the aisle, Gov. Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan,  evangelist Scott Dawson, Mobile state Sen. Bill Hightower, state corrections officer Stacy George, Birmingham businessman Joshua Jones are seeking the Republican Party’s nomination.

Watch Maddox’s video announcement below:

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