HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — While GOP gubernatorial candidates Kay Ivey, Tim James, and Lindy Blanchard have the upper hands in spending that reflect wells in the polls for their respective campaigns, two lower polling candidates aren’t backing down.
Both Lew Burdette, former CEO of Books-a-Million, and Dean Odle, a Pastor who has traveled the world, told News 19 that North Alabama can deliver them a big boost to their respective campaigns Tuesday.
“It’s happening all across this state, and I can’t wait to see the result on Tuesday,” said Burdette, who was .
Burdette spent much of Friday and Saturday campaigning in Madison County, and said his emphasis on education will push him above the other challengers despite current polling at 7% in the latest News 19 Emerson poll published Wednesday.
“We have 26 great community colleges all across this state for great career tech jobs and training and certifications, and can get our young people on the path to success,” he said. “And we have to have literacy programs that work.”
Pastor Dean Odle spoke at a town hall in Madison Saturday. Odle is polling at 3% but also has optimism for Tuesday’s primary results.
“I have more individual donors than all (other candidates),” he said. “We’ve worked hard. We have over 300 volunteers. Our signs are all over the state. We’ve really done a lot of radio advertising. Of course we didn’t have the millions of dollars my opponents do to bombard TV, but the grassroots campaign and the grassroots people of Alabama are definitely in the Odle camp.”
Odle believes Huntsville voters will help churn high numbers to the ballot box despite previously criticizing NASA, claiming that the moon landing was a hoax.
“Actually, one of our greatest responses has been in the Huntsville-Madison area,” Odle rebutted. “We have a huge following of course here in the debate. I won the debate here. My criticism of NASA and all that doesn’t mean I don’t believe that they do good things, especially military applications, satellites, reconnaissance, all those things. We need them. I just know what they do and what they don’t do.”
The likely goal for all GOP gubernatorial candidates is to qualify for a June 21 runoff.
“We’re gonna be in the runoff with Kay Ivey, and Alabamians are going to have a clear choice because this campaign is surging,” Burdette said.