HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Democrat Walt Maddox is planning a campaign bus tour of the state over the next six weeks, while Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has used the power of her office, with ribbon-cuttings, other planned events and campaign ads to make her case for a four-year term.
Ivey stepped into the governor’s office last year when Robert Bentley resigned. This year she has blanketed the state with campaign ads, featuring her support for Confederate monuments, her aim with a pistol and most recently, her efforts on public education.
It’s the way many voters around Alabama are getting to know her.
Ivey didn’t debate before the primary with a field of three Republican challengers.
What about the general election?
Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, says it depends on the circumstance.
“When it comes to debates, in a campaign, every campaign is different,” McCutcheon said. “The candidates of those campaigns, they need to look at the polling, they need to look at the issues, they need to look at the opportunity they have.”
Democrat Walt Maddox wants a debate, but it’s a numbers game.
“Well, I think from the polling numbers that we’re running in all of our legislative districts Gov. Ivey is polling very high, she’s got a lot of support,” McCutcheon said.
It’s a low-risk strategy, so far.
“Governor Ivey is in a position right now where doesn’t really need to debate [Tuscaloosa] Mayor Maddox,” McCutcheon said.
The House Speaker says debates aren’t necessarily the best forum to get detailed answers. He contends that curious voters can find answers.
“If they’re listening to social media, if they’re looking at her job performance, if they’re looking at the issues and really digging deep into the issues, I think the answers are there for the public,” McCutcheon said.
For voters who want direct answers, McCutcheon suggests attending a campaign event and posing a question.