HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The two candidates vying for the GOP nomination for Lieutenant Governor – Will Ainsworth and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh -- have about three days left to make their case to runoff voters.
The race has been marked with attacks and counter-charges, with a Cavanaugh allegation about Ainsworth receiving favorable treatment after a theft arrest in college, roiling the race.
Ainsworth says the theft charge was dropped after a fine and community service. Court records show the felony theft arrest was not prosecuted.
Ainsworth has also gone after Cavanaugh, calling the ads false and misleading.
Ainsworth is leaning into the fight. He announced Friday he plans to campaign Monday with a plastic tiger, and a boat – related to another arrest claim – as part of a “truth-tellin' tour.”
Currently, the lieutenant governor’s job is vacant.
The last time the position was filled, then Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey stepped into the governor’s job after Gov. Robert Bentley resigned in April 2017.
The lieutenant governor presides over the Alabama Senate, but doesn’t have a lot of powers unless something happens to the governor.
So, it can be an enormously important job.
Cavanaugh won the most votes in the primary, 43 percent to Ainsworth's 37 percent.
Ainsworth, a state representative from Albertville, has not only spent $2 million on the campaign, he’s loaned his campaign $1 million of his money.
Records show Cavanaugh, who chairs the Alabama Public Service Commission, has also spent more than $2 million on the race. Cavanaugh and her husband loaned her campaign $500,000 on June 30th.
And the money’s gone to tough campaign ads from both sides.
Records show Ainsworth has spent $1.6 million since the end of May on political advertising through a Virginia-based company.
Cavanaugh has spent $1.47 million on media advertising since May 1.