March 21, 2018

Tommy Battle pushes Gov. Kay Ivey on issue of debates

March 21, 2018

Gubernatorial candidate Tommy Battle sent Gov. Kay Ivey a letter on Tuesday, urging her to join him and other candidates for the state’s top office on the debate stage.

The letter to Ivey is Battle’s second attempt in two weeks to push along gubernatorial Republican candidate debates ahead of the June 5 Democratic and GOP primaries.

The Ivey campaign told The Associated Press on Feb. 28 that the governor would be “happy to discuss her record” in a debate.

Ivey’s campaign has not responded to Battle’s letter, emailed Tuesday, beyond confirming receipt of the letter, according to Battle’s tweet on Wednesday morning and campaign spokesman Nick Lough.

Link to Battle’s Tweet

In a statement to AL.com, Ivey campaign manager Mike Lukach did not directly address the issue of debates.

“Gov. Ivey has already attended events with her fellow candidates, and she will continue to do so,” Lukach said. “She has been crisscrossing the state sharing her message. Thanks to Kay’s conservative leadership, Alabama is working again.”

AL.com is planning debates for both Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates and has extended invitations to all candidates to participate. The dates for those debates have not yet been announced.

Battle issued a press release on March 7 accepting Ivey’s offer to debate, based off her campaign’s statement to The AP. Having gotten no response from Ivey’s campaign since then about debates, Battle emailed the letter.

“Several weeks ago, a spokesperson for Gov. Ivey’s campaign told (The AP) that she was happy to discuss her record in debates,” Lough said in a statement to AL.com. “We accepted her invitation. However, we haven’t heard anything from her since.

“Tommy Battle decided the best way to try to reach Gov. Ivey would be by drafting and sending a letter. The letter was emailed. Her campaign acknowledged within minutes the receipt of his letter. We’re awaiting her response.”

Battle has proposed debates in each of the state’s seven Congressional districts.

The text of Battle’s letter to Ivey:

“I know you believe the people of the state of Alabama are important to both of us.

“Our campaign is constantly talking about the importance of economic development, repairing our roads and bridges and how to boost education as a whole across all of Alabama.

“We both agree Alabamians deserve to hear from us, personally, about our vision to lead our state into the 21st century, since neither of us have yet been elected as governor.

“I want to extend an invitation to you to appear with me at debates, candidate forums and political events throughout the state to discuss our individual records and qualifications to be elected governor.

“I look forward to your response. I wish you and your campaign staff safe travels as the Republican primary approaches.”

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