By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday said she has no plans to debate her Democratic challenger as she seeks a full term in office.
Speaking to reporters after a speech in Montgomery, Ivey responded to Walt Maddox’s repeated calls for a debate before the November election.
“Alabamians know my record. They know what I stand for. I am out among them every day. They know we’re creating jobs and putting folks back to work and working to improve education. So we don’t need, I don’t need a debate,” Ivey said.
Maddox has criticized Ivey’s refusal to debate, saying voters deserve to hear candidates’ ideas.
“The governor doesn’t think the people of Alabama are worthy of such a debate. … My question is what are the governor’s people scared of,” Maddox said. ” Maddox told reporters Tuesday after attending a candidate forum hosted by an association of retired state employees.
Ivey did not attend the candidate forum but spoke to the group on her own Wednesday.
The League of Women Voters is the latest group to invite the candidates to a forum or debate. Ivey told reporters she had not received that invitation, but a spokesman clarified that she had not seen it.
Ivey is seeking to be elected governor after taking the office by default last year. Ivey, who had been lieutenant governor, was elevated to the top job last year when her predecessor resigned in a cloud of scandal.
Ivey did not debate her Republican primary challengers who also criticized her unwillingness to meet them on the debate stage. Ivey easily won the nomination.
Seeking to become the first Democrat elected to the Alabama governor’s office since 1998, Maddox advocates establishing a state lottery to fund college scholarships and expanding the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
Asked her views on the issues, Ivey said a lottery is “his push” but she supports “the people of Alabama having the right to vote on an issue.”
The Alabama Legislature would have to approve putting the lottery issue before voters.Ivey also said: “Medicaid expansion is desirable perhaps, but how are you going to pay for it? That’s not an issue we can tackle at this point.”
Maddox has proposed striking a gambling compact with the Poarch Creek Indians and using the state’s share of revenue to pay for the state’s cost of Medicaid expansion.