Big spending and loans mark GOP race for Alabama governor

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The race to become the next governor of Alabama is expected to be decided in the Alabama Republican primary, or possibly a runoff. Either way, lots of money is flowing through that contest.

Gov. Kay Ivey and her two closest challengers, Tim James and Lindy Blanchard, have gone aggressively to the airwaves.

The three campaigns have reported combined spending of $10.1 million, according to monthly filings with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office through March. 31.  

Ivey has spent just over $3 million, Blanchard has spent even more, $4.8 million and James reports spending $2.2 million.

Blanchard, a former ambassador in the Trump Administration, loaned her campaign $5 million in December and $2.8 million in January, records show.

Ivey, who polls have shown with a strong lead, has raised $1.7 million in the first three months of the year. James, whose father was governor, raised more than $370,000 in the same period. Blanchard reports having raised just $46,000 in the first three months, but still has a substantial campaign balance.

All three campaigns reported having a positive cash balance, despite all that spending. Ivey’s campaign reported it had $1.7 million at the end of March. Blanchard’s campaign reported it had $1.4 million as of March 31 and James’ campaign reported it had just over $672,000.

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