WETUMPKA — Businesswoman and former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda “Lindy” Blanchard on Tuesday officially kicked off her campaign for governor at the Jeanette Barrett Civic Room in Wetumpka.
The announcement comes on the heels of much speculation in Alabama political circles over the past few weeks that Blanchard would end her U.S. Senate campaign and set her sights instead on the governor’s mansion.
As she has now officially transitioned to a gubernatorial bid, the candidate is now going by Lindy, a name she is commonly called by those closest to her.
Blanchard, who has never held publicly elected office, is seeking to differentiate herself from Gov. Kay Ivey by labeling herself as a “conservative outsider.”
In announcing her candidacy, Blanchard suggested that while on the campaign trail for the U.S. Senate, voters “made it abundantly clear to me that they wanted a conservative outsider” as governor. She asserted that Alabamians desired “a leader who will run our state boldly, someone who is there to put the interests of the people first.”
“I do want to thank the governor for steadying the ship,” said Blanchard. “However, now is the time to put the ship into gear – moving the state of Alabama forward. I am the conservative outsider in the race. I want the same opportunity for all Alabamians, not a select few.”
Blanchard went on to speak on her successful business career and touted her service as a U.S. ambassador during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
“I will be that first line of defense from our federal government,” she advised. “I will stand up for our rights against not just the liberal left, but the go-along-to-get-along so-called conservatives who have run things in Montgomery way too long. I will be that voice for all Americans, all Alabamians for our freedoms – no mandates.”
Blanchard touched on her positions on numerous issues such as school choice, individual liberty and economic growth. The candidate concluded in part by honing in on election integrity.
“I will also focus on fair elections. While President Trump carried this state of Alabama by a historic margin, we know the liberal Democrats tried to interfere everywhere including here. That will never happen under my watch,” declared Blanchard. “And, of course, I will run Alabama with common sense, oh, and by the way, get rid of Common Core. And also, this will just be the beginning. I will listen to you. We will be the administration for you. I will give you your voice back. ”
Upon closing her announcement speech, Blanchard fielded questions from the press, during which she was asked about potentially landing an endorsement from Trump.
While declining to discuss private conversations she’s had with former President Donald Trump, Blanchard acknowledged his endorsement is “on every candidate’s wishlist.” #alpolitics pic.twitter.com/m522vn5H4Y
— Dylan Smith (@DylanSmithAL) December 7, 2021
Blanchard did not provide a definitive answer regarding the possibility of earning the nod from her former boss. However, when asked if she had requested the endorsement, she said, “Every candidate’s asked for it I believe, but certainly I would ask.”
The primary election will take place on May 24, 2022.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL