Gov. Kay Ivey, Lt. Gov. Will Ainswort and Attorney General Steve Marshall all boast strong fundraising numbers as they seek reelection to the state’s top constitutional statewide offices. Candidates for lower-level statewide offices are beginning to ramp up their fundraising efforts headed into August.
Many political analysts view the state’s top elected officeholders as being secure in their respected positions. However, the state’s down-ballot races such as Secretary of State and State Auditor are seen to be more competitive. Those boasting stronger fundraising numbers in the early stages of the campaign often hold a significant advantage heading into the latter half of the year.
Secretary of State
As sitting officeholder Secretary of State John Merrill is term-limited and cannot seek reelection, State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy) is the only candidate that has formally declared his intentions as an official candidate. Allen’s beginning balance for the month of July was $53,807. He raised $14,250 and loaned his campaign $25,000. With $7,000 in expenditures, he ended the month of July with $86,057 cash-on-hand.
It remains to be seen if there will be additional candidates to enter the race. As of now, Allen sits comfortably in the lead to succeed Secretary Merrill.
Like Merrill, current State Auditor Jim Zeigler is also term-limited. The eccentric Zeigler has made public his interest in challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, although he has yet to launch a formal bid for the state’s top office.
In terms of fundraising, State Rep. Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) leads the pack in the bid to succeed Zeigler. The first-term state legislator launched his bid with a $250,000 loan to his campaign. He brought in an impressive $39,789 for the month of July and loaned an additional $10,000 to the campaign. Sorrell’s July expenditures totaled $23,851 which brought his ending cash-on-hand to $269,065. To have a single month’s fundraising reach nearly $40,000 in a State Auditor’s race is considered to be a significant haul.
Former State Sen. Rusty Glover raised $10,854 for the month and recorded $794 in expenditures. The former South Alabama lawmaker ended July with $10,059 cash-on-hand.
Jefferson County pastor and conservative activist Stan Cooke began with no cash-on-hand, raised $2,000 total for the month of July, and recorded no expenditures.
Trace Barnett hauled in $3,200 for the month of July and spent $2,933, which brought his ending cash-on-hand to $267.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL