By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Kay Ivey’s challengers are indirectly trying to raise questions about her health ahead of Alabama’s June 5 primary, releasing their own medical information and saying the public deserves to have confidence in the health of the next governor.
Ivey, the 73-year-old front-runner, dismissed the attempts Friday as a “publicity stunt.” The state’s gubernatorial candidates have generally not released health information.
State Sen. Bill Hightower, 58, released copies of his blood tests and a cardiac stress test and called on other candidates to do the same, saying voters have a right to know about not only experience and vision, but the candidate’s physical ability to lead.” Sixty-two-year-old Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle followed suit Friday by releasing a letter from his doctor saying his general medical condition is “very good.”
“This is about the health of each candidate,” Hightower said Friday. “Alabama needs to have a governor who is strong and vigorous and can complete the term.”
Hightower declined to say if he was directly questioning Ivey’s health and physical fitness.
The doctor’s letter released by Battle’s campaign also says he has no “physical evidence of underlying medical illness.” Battle takes no medications other than for seasonal allergies, his doctor added.
“Battle believes it is important that the people of Alabama have faith and confidence in the health of their governor. That’s why he’s being transparent about his fitness to lead,” his campaign statement said.
Ivey turns 74 in October, and if elected in November, she’ll be one of the oldest in state history, although only slightly older than some previous governors.
“Maybe with age comes wisdom,” Ivey told The Associated Press in an interview last month. “My health is good. I get physicals twice a year. All is well. If you look at our schedules, you can see how active I am. Thank goodness and thank God I am healthy and will continue to be if the Lord wills.”