HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The candidates running to be Alabama’s governor both visited Huntsville over the weekend and with 15 days left in the campaign Gov. Kay Ivey remains the favorite. And, Democrat Walt Maddox is pushing to tie Ivey to a scandal.
Maddox faces a straightforward challenge, according to WHNT News 19 political analyst Jess Brown.
“For a Democrat now running for governor, it’s truly an uphill climb,” Brown said, citing the need for any statewide Democrat to capture nearly every independent voter in Alabama.
Since last week, Maddox has focused attention on reports that Ivey had a series of mini-strokes in Colorado in 2015 and used state resources to cover it up. Ivey denies the allegation, and her campaign has called Maddox a lying liberal.
Maddox addressed the claims in an interview with WHNT News 19 on Friday.
“I don’t think people are going to accept the fact that you’re going to call somebody a liar, but you refuse to produce any documentation,” Maddox said.
On Monday, Maddox said state records show then-Lt. Gov. Ivey and her staff used a private email server for state business, in the same period as the alleged strokes.
Maddox argued that shows an “unacceptable pattern” of secrecy by Ivey.
And, focusing and a possible late-breaking scandal may be an easier battleground for Maddox.
“He can’t equal her for money for paid advertising, he doesn’t have the advantages of incumbency like she does,” analyst Brown said.
During her visit to Huntsville Saturday for a GOP men’s breakfast, Ivey tried to link Maddox to Democratic fundraiser George Soros. And she expressed optimism about the race.
“The momentum is definitely building on our side, people are proud to have good positive results,” Ivey said.
Maddox has said the issue isn’t Ivey’s health, but the prospect of using state resources to cover something up, as Gov. Robert Bentley did.
“We can’t take another scandal. We’re already ranked as the most corrupt state in the union,” Maddox said. “Gov. Ivey, all she has to do is answer those questions honestly, place all the documentation down. I think everything would be good to go.”