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‘This one’s for the girls’: Kay Ivey first Republican woman elected governor of Alabama

MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey triumphantly strode onto the stage to deliver her victory speech Tuesday night in front of a massive, overflow crowd at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Convention Center, with the country staple “This One’s for the Girls” ringing out in the background.

The song selection signaled the historic message of the night. As Alabama Republican Chairman Terry Lathan told Yellowhammer News, Ivey’s election broke the glass ceiling, as she was the first Republican female elected governor in state history.

It will also be the first time in Alabama lore that a lieutenant governor has become governor and then went on to win the election for a full term as governor.

After the long standing ovation subsided, Ivey began her speech, saying, “The people of Alabama have spoken loud and clear: we want to keep Alabama on the right track and keep Alabama working!”

Her remarks were frequently interrupted by applause, with the sincere appreciation for her supporters and elation of the moment showing for the governor.

“It is with immense gratitude that I stand before you tonight as the next governor of Alabama. I am ever so grateful for your steadfast support, prayers and votes,” Ivey said, adding “Together, we have made history.”

Alabama’s 54th governor then had a jab for her opponent’s camp and the legacy media outlets in the state that tried to convince people she was in poor health.

“The odds were against me. Some said I would never make it across the finish line, while others claimed I was on my last breath,” Ivey quipped. “Well, nothing could be further from the truth! Not only did I finish, we finished very strong. And I am just now getting started!”

Further cementing her message about breaking the glass ceiling, Ivey continued, “Most of you have seen my tv spot about how ‘this is as close I will ever be’ … dreams are possible in Alabama!”

“The last 19 months have been fast, challenging and rewarding. Working together, Alabama has achieved new heights. But we must not rest on our success. With your help and support, I plan to replicate a proven model over the next four years…our best days are ahead of us,” Ivey outlined.

Her speech was uplifting and forward-looking, with Ivey closing by reinforcing that Alabama is headed to new heights.

“I’ve always said I have one simple goal as a public servant. When I walk away, I want to leave things better than when I started. With your help, we will make Alabama a better place to raise a family, own a home, and create a business,” Ivey concluded. “May God continue to bless each of you and the great State of Alabama!”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn