Republican Ivey defeats Democrat Walt Maddox

Published 11-07-2018

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Kay Ivey, who became Alabama's governor last year when her predecessor resigned in a cloud of scandal, was elected Tuesday to a full term after fending off a challenge from Democratic rival Walt Maddox.

The Republican Ivey, who had been lieutenant governor, became governor 19 months ago when then-Gov. Robert Bentley suddenly resigned in the midst of an impeachment investigation partly centered on his relationship with an aide.

In her trademark drawl, Ivey, 74, had told voters throughout the campaign that she had restored trust to government. Her campaign ads emphasized the state's record low unemployment and growing economy, while highlighting the governor's folksy no-nonsense demeanor. She also emphasized her opposition to abortion and support of gun rights.

"When I took the oath of office some 19 months ago, I told the people right after we would clean up state government. We would restore people's trust and we would get Alabama working again. Promises made. Promises kept," Ivey said during a Monday stop in Montgomery.

Ivey is the state's second female governor and the first Republican woman to hold the position.

As the presumed front-runner in the red state, Ivey had refused to debate Maddox, as well as her GOP primary opponents, a move that was frequently criticized by her political challengers.

Ivey also faced indirect questions about her health as well as an accusation that she tried to cover up a health incident during a 2015 trip to Colorado and retaliated against the state trooper traveling with her for telling his superiors. Ivey denied the accusations and said she was hospitalized for altitude sickness and released a letter from her doctor saying she was a low risk for a cardiovascular event.

After years of holding no statewide offices, Democrats had hoped to build on last year's election of Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. But they faced an uphill battle in a state dominated by Republicans.

Maddox ran on a campaign on establishing a state lottery to fund college scholarships as well as expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Maddox pitched the race as a choice between politicians who are content with the state's low rankings in education, health care and other indicators and those who think it could be better.

"When you are 47th, 48th, 49th in everything that matters, that is not a future that is going to sustain Alab

Ivey also faced indirect questions about her health as well as an accusation that she tried to cover up a health incident during a 2015 trip to Colorado and retaliated against the state trooper traveling with her for telling his superiors. Ivey denied the accusations and said she was hospitalized for altitude sickness and released a letter from her doctor saying she was a low risk for a cardiovascular event.

After years of holding no statewide offices, Democrats had hoped to build on last year's election of Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. But they faced an uphill battle in a state dominated by Republicans.

Maddox ran on a campaign on establishing a state lottery to fund college scholarships as well as expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Maddox pitched the race as a choice between politicians who are content with the state's low rankings in education, health care and other indicators and those who think it could be better.

"When you are 47th, 48th, 49th in everything that matters, that is not a future that is going to sustain Alabama," Maddox said on the campaign trail.

Mary Anne Martin, 73, voted for Ivey. Martin, who has worked in children's advocacy, said she liked that Ivey has had a scandal-free administration.

"We've had so many scandals in this state," Martin said. "She is very hard-working. We haven't seen any scandals," Martin said.

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AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

Maddox ran on a campaign on establishing a state lottery to fund college scholarships as well as expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Maddox pitched the race as a choice between politicians who are content with the state's low rankings in education, health care and other indicators and those who think it could be better.

"When you are 47th, 48th, 49th in everything that matters, that is not a future that is going to sustain Alabama," Maddox said on the campaign trail.

Mary Anne Martin, 73, voted for Ivey. Martin, who has worked in children's advocacy, said she liked that Ivey has had a scandal-free administration.

"We've had so many scandals in this state," Martin said. "She is very hard-working. We haven't seen any scandals," Martin said.

___

AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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