Gov. Ivey mixes personality, policy in first sit down interview - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Gov. Ivey mixes personality, policy in first sit down interview

Gov. Kay Ivey holds her first in-depth, sit down interview since being sworn in. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Gov. Kay Ivey holds her first in-depth, sit down interview since being sworn in. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Gov. Kay Ivey sat down for her first in-depth interview Friday morning to discuss policy and her plans for the future. She mixed in some personality, as well. After scandal and issues have followed the state, it's the personality, not policy, of the person who holds the state's top office that may be more important than ever.

"I hope everybody understands I'm the same today as I was yesterday," Ivey said while sitting at the head of the table in her ornate, wood-paneled corner office in the state capitol building. Fresh flowers of a congratulatory nature filled the room's tabletops.

Ivey may be new to the office, but she's been around state government for quite some time. Our interview started off with a look back at video of Ivey on her first day as House Reading Clerk, a pleasant surprise for the busy chief executive.

"1982 was a long time ago," she stated while watching the video. "So I look back and go 'Wow, what a journey. Thank you, Lord!"

But after a long journey, Ivey's sitting at the top, and she's sitting there in uncertain times.

"Now we have a great cloud over the state," Ivey explained. "So now, thankfully, we can now turn the page and start a new chapter."

That's the hope, but there is no law or words that will instantly solve the state's woes.

"Judge me by my actions," Ivey, 72, urged. She wants to go back to a more traditional way of managing things. 

"Your word is your bond and your handshake is your contract," she explained.

But while it may sound good, it will take time to see if the former clerk who climbed her way into history can install traditional values and steady a state rocked by scandal. She was the first Republican state treasurer since Reconstruction, first Republican to win reelection as Lt. Gov, and just the second female to reach the governor's office.

"I want things to be in a better shape than when I arrived," she vowed.

Ivey is no slouch on policy, including on such topics as Medicaid and the state's long-running concerns about overcrowded prisons, but she does not have any hard policy ideas in place, though it is just her first week in the office.

"We'll do briefings, but I'm not going to try and micromanage in this legislative session," Ivey stated. "The legislators know that I support a solution to a reasonable solution to Medicaid, for prisons. You got to have the budgets passed. We've got to do something about redistricting. So they've got to tackle those issues and get those done and I'll be developing my priorities for the next regular session." 

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