Gov. Kay Ivey top fundraiser in 2018 race for governor’s office

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The candidates bidding to become Alabama’s next governor have filed new campaign finance reports, spelling out what they’re raising and spending.

The new campaign finance reports., at the site Alabama Votes.gov,  cover the past month, but also offer a picture of the campaign’s direction.

Gov. Kay Ivey, who has been in office nearly a year, has the most money on hand – more than $2 million and raised the most in March — $350,000.

Ivey says her campaign began a year ago.

“I’ve been telling people what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, since I took the oath of office,” Ivey said.

The governor also spent nearly $300,000 in March with a Southern California ad agency, Target Enterprises LLC, records show.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is second in cash on hand with $1.35 million. He raised nearly $115,000 last month.

But Battle spent the least money in March — $84,000 — among the four leading GOP contenders.

Battle says he’s looking forward to debating as part of the campaign.

“It’s paramount on all of us to come out and tell our story, about what we’re going to do, what our vision is for the state,” Battle said.

Republican Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, spent $300,000 in March, the second most in the race. But he raised just $70,000, last among the GOP contenders.

Evangelist Scott Dawson, of Hoover, raised $93,000 in March, third among the GOP contenders. He spent $148,000 in March, also third in the GOP field.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has taken the fundraising lead among the Democrats. He raised $114,000, about $30,000 more than rival former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb.

Cobb spent a little more money than Maddox in March, $84,000 to his $79,500. But Maddox has more cash on hand, $219,000, to her $190,000.

It looks like an uphill fight for the Democrats. Ivey’s fundraising, just in March, was more than either Democrat’s whole war chest.