MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday made her first public appearance in nearly three weeks, telling reporters she was in good health but also declining to say whether she had undergone any recent medical treatment.
Ivey toured a science and technology lab at at a Montgomery elementary school in her first public appearance since an Aug. 2 groundbreaking ceremony, news outlets reported. The gap between appearances fueled speculation about the 77-year-old governor’s health.
“I’ve got a clean bill of health from the doctors, and I’m looking forward to serving for four more years as governor,” Ivey told reporters.
Ivey brushed aside questions about whether she had recently undergone medical treatment in a hospital, and did not directly answer, news outlets reported.
“It just seems like a lot of you just want to will these rumors into being, and that just isn’t going to happen,” the governor responded, according to al.com. “I’ve got a clean bill of health from the doctors. That’s what matters and I’m looking forward to serving four more years as your governor.”
Ivey’s office on Aug. 12 began releasing occasional photos of her at work to combat the rumors, beginning with an Aug. 12 photo of her greeting South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at an airport when Noem arrived in Alabama for a speech.
Ivey announced in 2019 that she had been diagnosed with early stage lung cancer and would undergo radiation treatments. In 2020, she said the cancer appeared to be gone and that her doctor considered her free of the disease.
Ivey easily won the GOP gubernatorial nomination without a runoff in May, Ivey is a heavy favorite over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Yolanda Flowers in the November general election.
The rumors about possible health concerns came as a deadline approaches to replace candidates on the November ballot.