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Inside the Statehouse By Steve Flowers

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Now that the dust has
settled from last week’s
gubernatorial primaries,
let’s analyze the outcome.
Governor Kay Ivey and
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt
Maddox won very impres-
sive victories. Ms. Ivey
beat three well financed
opponents without a run-
off. She trounced them.
She garnered 56 percent of
the vote to 25 percent for
Huntsville Mayor Tommy
Battle. Evangelist Scott
Dawson and Mobile State
Senator Bill Hightower
brought up the rear with
13 percent and 5 percent
respectively. All three
men worked hard and
raised money. It was a
daunting task to defeat a
sitting governor.
The challenge now
goes to youthful, vibrant,
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt
Maddox, who captured
the Democratic nomina-
tion with a brilliant and
impressive victory.
Maddox’s win may
have been more impres-
sive than Ivey’s. He
had to defeat a field of
five. He did so, like Ivey,
without a runoff. He also
received 55 percent of his
primary vote. His closest
challenger was former
Alabama Chief Justice
Sue Bell Cobb, who got
29 percent. Former Cull-
man State Representative
James Fields ran third in
the Democratic primary
with 9 percent of the vote.
Polling revealed three
months out that Kay
Ivey had an insurmount-
able lead. Remarkably,
the same polls had her
with the almost identical
30-point lead three weeks
out. Her numbers were 45
to Battle’s 12, Dawson 9,
and Hightower 4 in mid-
February and again as late
as mid-May.
The only way to dimin-
ish that kind of lead is
to go negative. Battle
refused to go negative,
which negated any chance
he had to overtake her. He
was the only one of the
three with the financial
resources to decimate her
numbers. He chose to use