Kay Ivey

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Kay Ivey
54th Governor of Alabama
Assumed office
April 10, 2017
Lieutenant Vacant
Preceded by Robert Bentley
30th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
In office
January 17, 2011 – April 10, 2017
Governor Robert Bentley
Preceded by Jim Folsom Jr.
Succeeded by Vacant
38th Treasurer of Alabama
In office
January 20, 2003 – January 17, 2011
Governor Bob Riley
Preceded by Lucy Baxley
Succeeded by Young Boozer
Personal details
Born (1944-10-15) October 15, 1944 (age 73)
Camden, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Before 2002)
Republican (2002–present)
Residence Governor's Mansion
Education Auburn University (BA)

Kay Ellen Ivey (born October 15, 1944) is an American politician who is the 54th and current Governor of Alabama. A Republican, Ivey is a former Alabama State Treasurer and 30th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama. She was the first Republican woman elected statewide in Alabama. Ivey became Alabama's second female governor and first female Republican governor in April 2017 upon the resignation of her predecessor, Robert J. Bentley. She is running for election to a full term in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Early life and education[edit]

Ivey was born in Camden, Alabama on October 15, 1944 as the only child[1] to Boadman Nettles Ivey (1913–1997)[2] and Barbara Ivey (1915–1998).[3] Her father was an army major in World War II, who later worked with the Gees Bend community as part of a federal program, the Farmers Home Administration.[1]

Growing up in Camden, Alabama, Ivey worked on her father’s farm. She later graduated from Auburn University where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, becoming president of her first year pledge class,[4] and served in the Student Government Association all four years.[4] In 1967, she moved to California following a marriage and became a high school teacher for several years.[4] Following the end of her marriage, Ivey returned to Alabama and landed a position with Merchants National Bank where she launched a school relations program to promote financial literacy.[4]

Entry into politics[edit]

In 1979, she was appointed by then-Governor Fob James to serve in the state cabinet.[4] She later served as the law clerk of the Alabama House of Representative between 1980 and 1982 and served as Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office between 1982 and 1985.[5]

In 1982, Ivey ran unsuccessfully for State Auditor as a Democrat.[6] She was Director of Government Affairs and Communications for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from 1985 until 1998.[7]

State Treasurer[edit]

Ivey took office as state treasurer in 2003, after defeating Stephen Black, the grandson of former United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in the 2002 general election, by a margin of 52–48%.[8] In 2006, Ivey was re-elected over Democrat Steve Segrest by a 60–40% margin.[9] She was the first Republican elected state treasurer since Reconstruction.[10]

As Treasurer, Ivey also oversaw the near complete financial collapse of the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program. Under this program tens of thousands of Alabama families were assured by the state that their investment in the program would guarantee their children four years of tuition at any state college.[4] Following the program's inception, many of the state's colleges increased the cost of tuition at triple the inflation rate (or more), so the program became financially unsustainable and was subsequently bailed out by the Alabama state legislature.[11] This unprecedented and unforeseen increase in tuition was not taken into account when the program was developed.

Lieutenant Governor (2011–2017)[edit]

Ivey with Martha Roby, Robert J. Bentley, and Terri Sewell in 2014
Ivey in July 2017

Under the Alabama Constitution, Ivey was not eligible to seek re-election to a third term as state treasurer in 2010.[12] Ivey's name surfaced in press speculation about gubernatorial candidates in 2010.[13][14]

In 2009, Ivey announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor in the 2010 elections, joining a crowded field of seven Republican candidates.[15][16] However, in March 2010, Ivey abandoned her run for governor and qualified to run for lieutenant governor.[17] Ivey ran against State Senator Hank Erwin of Montevallo and schoolteacher Gene Ponder of Baldwin County for the Republican nomination.[18] In the June 2010 primary election, Ivey won the nomination with 56.6% of the vote, to Erwin's 31.4% and Ponder's 12%.[19]

In the November 2010 elections, in a Republican sweep of statewide offices, Ivey defeated Democratic incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., who had sought an unprecedented fourth term. Ivey received 718,636 votes to Folson's 764,112 votes.[20]

In 2014, Ivey was challenged in the Republican primary by pastor Stan Cooke of Jefferson County.[21] Ivey received the support of major lobbying groups, such as the Business Council of Alabama, Alabama Retail Association, Alabama Farmers Federation, and Alabama Forestry Association.[22] Ivey defeated Cooke in the primary, received 257,588 votes (61.68%) to Cooke's 160,023 votes (38.32%).[23] In the general election, Ivey faced Democratic nominee James C. Fields, a former state legislator.[24] In November 2014, Ivey won reelection with 738,090 votes to Fields' 428,007 votes.[25] This marked the first time a Republican was re-elected lieutenant governor in the state's history.[26]

Governor of Alabama (2017–present)[edit]

Taking office and first months as governor[edit]

Ivey was sworn in as governor following the resignation of Robert Bentley on April 10, 2017. She is the second female governor in the state's history. The first was Lurleen Wallace, the wife of George Wallace; she was governor for about 16 months in 1967 and 1968, until her death from cancer.[26]

In April 2017, Ivey signed a bill into law that barred judges from overruling a jury's recommendation on the death penalty in sentencing in capital murder cases. Previously, Alabama had been the only state with a "judicial override" that allowed a judge to sentence a defendant to death even though a jury had recommended a sentence of life without parole. Before the bill was passed, Alabama's capital sentencing scheme was viewed as having been likely to have been struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.[27][28]

In May 2017, Ivey signed into law:

  • a bill to speed up death-penalty appeals and hasten executions in Alabama.[29]
  • a bill barring the removal of any monuments on public display, or the renaming of any public street or building, that had existed for 40 years or more – effectively protecting the state's Confederate monuments.[30]
  • a bill banning crossover voting (the practice of a voter casting a ballot in one party's primary election and then casting a ballot in other party's runoff elections).[31]
  • a bill allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay couples. This bill was criticized by the Human Rights Campaign.[32][33]

Announcement of 2018 gubernatorial candidacy[edit]

In September 2017, Ivey officially announced that she is running for election to a full term in the 2018 gubernatorial election.[34][35][36]

Actions regarding 2017 special election for U.S. Senate[edit]

Former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) resigned from that office in February 2017 to serve as U.S. Attorney General, whereupon then-Governor Bentley chose Luther Strange to succeed Sessions in the Senate until a special election which Bentley controversially scheduled to align with the 2018 general election instead of sooner.[37][38] When Ivey succeeded Bentley, she rescheduled the special election for December 12, 2017.[39]

After Roy Moore won the Republican nomination for that U.S. Senate seat, the Washington Post published an article revealing allegations of sexual abuse against minors by Moore, which caused many Republican voters and groups in Alabama to withdraw their support for him. There began to be discussion as to whether Ivey would delay the election to allow the Republicans to field an alternative candidate. Ivey subsequently said: "The election date is set for December 12. Were [Strange] to resign I would simply appoint somebody to fill the remaining time until we have the election on December 12".[40] Ivey stated on November 17 that although she has no reason to disbelieve the allegations, she intends to vote for Moore.[41][42][43]

Electoral history[edit]

Alabama Treasurer Republican Primary Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey 134,395 45.0
Republican Lisa Wallace 84,223 28.2
Republican Twinkle Andress 80,024 26.8
Alabama Treasurer Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey 93,686 66.90
Republican Lisa Wallace 46,363 33.10
Alabama Treasurer Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey 660,873 50.77
Democratic Stephen Foster Black 609,544 46.83
Libertarian Gabe Garland 30,201 2.32
Write-ins Write-ins 1,098 0.08
Alabama Treasurer Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey (inc.) 724,861 60.55
Democratic Steve Segrest 471,570 39.39
Write-ins Write-ins 730 0.06
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey 255,205 56.64
Republican Hank Erwin 141,420 31.39
Republican Gene Ponder 53,965 11.98
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey 764,112 51.47
Democratic Jim Folsom, Jr. (inc.) 718,636 48.40
Write-ins Write-ins 1,945 0.13
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey (inc.) 257,588 61.68
Republican Stan Cooke 160,023 38.32
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kay Ivey (inc.) 738,090 63.23
Democratic James Fields, Jr. 428,007 36.67
Write-ins Write-ins 1,146 0.10

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Walburn, Jackie Romine (22 April 2017). "Extra proud: Wishing Mr. Nettles and Miss Barbara of Wilcox County could see their girl now". Blogspot. 
  2. ^ "Maj. Boadman Nettles Ivey". geni.com. 
  3. ^ "Barbara Ivey". geni.com. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Stein, Kelsey (March 29, 2016). "Who is Kay Ivey? First In Line to Replace Gov. Robert Bentley has 'Varied Career' In Politics, Banking". al.com. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ http://www.birminghamwatch.org/gov-kay-ivey-makes-history/
  6. ^ "State Treasurer," The Birmingham News, November 3, 2002, p. 2B
  7. ^ "State Treasurer," The Montgomery Advertiser, November 3, 2002, p. A7
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Alabama Department of Archives and History: Ala. Treasurer Kay Ivey". Archives.state.al.us. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  11. ^ "Alabama's Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) Program" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Hubbard Keeping Options Open for 2010," Opelika-Auburn News, January 18, 2008
  14. ^ "Democrats Can’t Start a Fire Without a Sparks," Roll Call, May 15, 2007
  15. ^ George Altman, Some GOP gubernatorial candidates run to right of Roy Moore on religion, AL.com (November 19, 2009).
  16. ^ Kay Ivey unveils TV ad for GOP gubernatorial campaign, Associated Press (February 15, 2010).
  17. ^ Dean, Charles (March 31, 2010). "Alabama Treasurer Kay Ivey Switches from Governor's to Lieutenant Governor's Race for Republican Primary". al.com. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  18. ^ Dean Young of Gulf Shores drops out of lieutenant governor's race, Associated Press (April 2, 2010).
  19. ^ Primary Election - June 1, 2010, Alabama Secretary of State.
  20. ^ State of Alabama, Canvass of Results, General Election November 2, 2010, Alabama Secretary of State.
  21. ^ Mike Cason,Stan Cooke challenges Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey in Republican primary (updated, video), AL.com (August 20, 2013).
  22. ^ Phillip Rawls, Incumbent Kay Ivey has endorsements in Alabama lieutenant governor’s race, Associated Press (April 26, 2017).
  23. ^ Certification of Results - Republican Party Primary (certified June 13, 2014), Alabama Secretary of State.
  24. ^ Paul Gattis, Democrat James Fields looking to pull surprise against Kay Ivey in lieutenant governor's race, AL.com (November 3, 2014).
  25. ^ Certified General Election Results - Without Write-in Appendix (Certified 11/24/2014), Alabama Secretary of State.
  26. ^ a b "Kay Ivey sworn in as Alabama's 54th Governor". WHNT-TV. Huntsville, Alabama. 2017-04-10. 
  27. ^ Ashley Remkus, Did judicial override end in Alabama? Some say judges can still overrule jury over death penalty, AL.com (July 21, 2017).
  28. ^ Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill: Judges can no longer override juries in death penalty cases], AL.com (April 11, 2017).
  29. ^ Brian Lyman, Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill to shorten time of death penalty appeals, Montgomery Advertiser (May 26, 2017).
  30. ^ Blake, Andrew (May 27, 2017). "Alabama Governor Signs Law Protecting Confederate Monuments from Removal". Washington Times. Retrieved May 27, 2017. 
  31. ^ Leada Gore, Crossover voting now banned in Alabama: What it means when you cast your ballot, AL.com (May 30, 2017).
  32. ^ Kim Chandler, New Alabama Law OKs Barring Gay Adoption, Associated Press (May 3, 2017).
  33. ^ Mike Cason, Bill allowing adoption agencies to turn away gay couples signed into law, AL.com (May 4, 2017).
  34. ^ Brownlee, Chip (August 17, 2017). "Ivey has name of campaign for Governor reserved". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  35. ^ Cason, Mike (August 17, 2017). "Gov. Kay Ivey files paperwork for campaign organization". AL.com. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  36. ^ Cason, Mike (September 7, 2017). "Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey makes it official, she's running for full term". AL.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  37. ^ "No special election to replace Sessions; Bentley says move could save $16 million". AL.com. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Election to Fill the Vacancy of Sen. Jeff Sessions", Legislative Reference Service (February 13, 2017).
  39. ^ "Governor Ivey Moves US Senate Special Election to Adhere with State Law" (Press release). Office of the Governor of Alabama. April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  40. ^ Hartmann, Margaret. "GOP Mulls Canceling Alabama Senate Election, But State Officials Won’t Abandon Roy Moore", New York (November 16, 2017).
  41. ^ Cason, Mike. Gov. Kay Ivey to vote for Roy Moore in U.S. Senate race, The Birmingham News (November 17, 2017).
  42. ^ Michael Scherer & Sean Sullivan, Alabama’s GOP governor says she plans to vote for Roy Moore (November 17, 2017).
  43. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lucy Baxley
Treasurer of Alabama
Succeeded by
Young Boozer
Preceded by
Jim Folsom
Lieutenant Governor of Alabama
Preceded by
Robert J. Bentley
Governor of Alabama
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Alabama
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bruce Rauner
as Governor of Illinois
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Alabama
Succeeded by
Paul LePage
as Governor of Maine