Former gubernatorial candidate Tim James has established a principal campaign committee to run for governor with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
The filing, dated December 1, 2021, suggests an announcement regarding James launching a second bid for governor could be forthcoming. Many view James as being the most credible threat as a potential GOP primary opponent to Gov. Kay Ivey’s bid for reelection.
State law requires those raising more than $1,000 to file paperwork with the state declaring their candidacy.
James, the son of former Gov. Fob James, ran unsuccessfully for the governor’s mansion in 2010, which ended with him missing the runoff by 208 votes behind Robert Bentley, who would go on to win the governor’s race that cycle.
James has reemerged in the state’s political arena as a vocal critic of Republican leadership, who he suggests has not been sufficiently conservative on a number of issues. James has taken exception to Ivey and the legislature’s handling of issues such as taxation, gambling, education and marijuana.
In an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” last month, James asserted that the legislature had conducted the state’s business as California and other progressive states would.
James proclaimed, “If I was sitting in space looking at what this legislature has done, there is no way you could convince me that this conservative state that we live in, in the Bible Belt, is Alabama because I cannot believe the legislation that they have passed or tried to pass. It is in conflict with everything Alabamians stand for.”
James was also critical of Ivey for her 2019 efforts to pass the Rebuild Alabama Act, which raised the state’s fuel tax as a means to provide for increased funding for infrastructure.
According to sources familiar with James’ interest in running for governor, he has found confidants in political operatives who have long been heavily involved in Alabama Republican circles. This includes former Alabama Republican Party chairman Bill Armistead and advisors to former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s 2017 U.S. Senate campaign.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.:
In a conversation with Yellowhammer News, James advised that he will officially launch his campaign in early January.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL