News & Updates
March 27, 2018
One Tommy is supporting another in Alabama’s governor’s race.
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, who considered running for governor himself, said Tuesday he believes Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is the best candidate.
“Right now, Tommy Battle, I’m on board with him,” Tuberville said during an appearance on WANI radio in Auburn. “He can make the decisions to move us up.”
Tuberville briefly flirted with jumping into the governor’s race last year – even loaning his campaign $100,000 in March 2017. Less than a month later, though, he ended his campaign.
“I’ve looked at this race,” Tuberville said. “I think we need something different in Montgomery. I think we need something different for the state of Alabama. I think Tommy Battle is a very, very good candidate for this state. It’s like being a good football coach – you put together staffs, you know people that can help you make decisions, give you advice. He’s done that in Huntsville.”
Tuberville compiled an 85-40 record at Auburn from 1999-2008 and led the Tigers to the 2004 SEC championship. He has also been a head coach at Texas Tech and Cincinnati.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, Battle made note of the War Eagle support of Tuberville for a candidate who graduated from the University of Alabama and whose cousin, Bill Battle, recently retired as athletic director at Alabama.
“We may be on different sidelines when Alabama and Auburn play each other, but Coach Tuberville and I are on the same team when it comes to moving our great state forward,” Battle said in the statement. “I want to thank him for his support. I can’t wait to see Coach Tuberville on the campaign trail.”
The only other candidate in the gubernatorial race Tuberville mentioned in the radio interview was Gov. Kay Ivey, who he described as “kind of an interim governor.”
Ivey took office April 10, 2017, after Robert Bentley was forced to resign.
“A lot of people from Birmingham south, they don’t know a lot about Tommy Battle,” Tuberville said. “But Huntsville is one of the most growing parts of the country, not just the state of Alabama. He’s got a big job up there. He’s got (Redstone Arsenal) that’s beneficial for growth but I think he’s done a good job.
“We need somebody outside the Montgomery realm. Kay Ivey is kind of interim governor. She stepped in when the other governor had to be moved out. I think Tommy Battle is the guy people should continue to look at.”
When Tuberville ended his pursuit of governor in April 2017, he spoke highly of Ivey, who at that time had been in office about two weeks.
“Kay Ivey is a great lady,” he explained. “She has an excellent staff. I know quite a few people on her staff. They will do a really good job. I’m looking for some really good things in the last few weeks from the legislative group, making some moves to make this state a lot better.”