By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
Incumbent Governor Kay Ivey has a comfortable lead in recent polls ahead of the May 24 primary, but her GOP challengers have continued to raise significant funds this month, including a massive loan from the mostly self-funded candidate.
Late last week, Lindy Blanchard loaned her campaign $1.6 million, bringing her available funds at the time to just over $3 million.
Blanchard, the former ambassador to Slovenia under President Donald Trump, previously loaned her campaign $5 million in December and $2.8 million in January. She touted her ability to self-fund her campaign, rather than relying on political contributions, as an advantage in the race.
Last fall, Inside Alabama Politics reported that the self-funder was willing to spend $10 million of his own money to run for office, which at the time was the US Senate. She now stands at $9.6 million with 28 days until the primary election.
While Blanchard has the most cash on hand, currently, Ivey received significant contributions this month and has $2.7 million, according to the latest information on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website. .
Applicants must report donations over $12,000 separately and Ivey listed eight totaling just over $1 million. The largest of these, $750,000, comes from a DC-based organization called “Get Families Back to Work.”
James had half a dozen major contributions totaling $250,000 and has approximately $877,000 on hand. That campaign said on Tuesday that James would make an announcement and discuss the future of his campaign today.
Ivey has other numbers in his favor. Alabama Daily News reported last week that a recent internal poll showed Ivey leading with 57% of likely Republican voters. Fourteen percent said they would choose Blanchard and 12% would vote for bridge developer Tim James. Only 12% of voters remain undecided in the race, according to the poll.
Details of April campaign spending will be available next week when the monthly campaign reports are due.
In total, the candidates for the 2022 gubernatorial race raised $20.5 million and spent $13.5 million.