'Debate yourself' AL governor tells Democratic challenger

'Debate yourself' AL governor tells Democratic challenger

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA/AP) - Gov. Kay Ivey's campaign is responding to a letter issued Tuesday by Walt Maddox, her competitor in the general election, in which he is challenging her to several debates ahead of the November election.

Maddox sent Ivey a letter Tuesday outlining a proposal for four debates.

Ivey's campaign responded:

"Walt Maddox refuses to say if he supports Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, it’s impossible to get a straight answer from him on gun rights, and he’s all over the map on abortion. It seems the person Walt Maddox should be debating is himself." 

Maddox wrote that the candidates "owe the people of this state an opportunity to hear directly our specific plans" to lead the state forward.

Maddox, who is the mayor of Tuscaloosa, proposed two formal debates and two town hall formats. The debates would last two hours each.

At a news conference called Tuesday afternoon, Maddox said Alabama deserves "better answers than some half-written tweet by Gov. Ivey's staff. We deserve answers to the problems facing millions of Alabamians."

Ivey did not debate her Republican challengers before the June 5 Republican primary. Maddox participated in several debates before winning the Democratic primary.

Ivey had been the state's lieutenant governor and became governor last year when then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned. She follows Bentley's decision not to debate his Democratic gubernatorial opponent, Parker Griffith, when he ran a successful re-election bid in 2014.

During the primaries, Ivey told media why she declined to debate her Republican opponents:

"I am governor of Alabama and I have a full schedule, my schedule is full a long way out in advance and so my first job, of my time has to be to govern and I'm doing that and so campaigns are free to run their campaigns any way they want to but I can't stop and drop what I'm doing, we have hurricanes, we have storms. Things come up and I'm just trying to be an effective governor, do my job."

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed.