Ivey, Maddox to face each other in November election

Candidates speak after Democratic, Republican primaries for governor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Kay Ivey and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox will face each other in the general election in November.

Ivey clinched the Republican nomination for governor without a runoff. Ivey won after beating back a field of GOP challengers.

Maddox defeated former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and other candidates in the Tuesday race.

Ivey is seeking to win the office in her own right after becoming governor 14 months ago when her scandal-battered predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, evangelist Scott Dawson and state Sen. Bill Hightower did not collectively pull enough votes to force Ivey into a runoff. She will face the Democratic nominee in November.

In her campaign, Ivey emphasized the state's robust economy, falling unemployment rate and the quieting of the scandal that had engulfed the state's previous governor.

Her challengers had condemned her refusal to debate and indirectly questioned whether the 73-year-old governor could complete a four-year term.

Maddox has been the mayor of Tuscaloosa since 2005. His platform includes establishing a state lottery to fund a mixture of college scholarships, pre-kindergarten programs and financial assistance for the state's poorest and struggling schools.

In the seeking the Democratic nomination, Maddox obtained valuable endorsements from Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Alabama Democratic Conference, which is the state's largest African-American political organization.

Alabama hasn't elected a Democrat to the governor's office since 1998. Energized by the December victory of U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, the party is seeking a resurgence in state politics.

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