By Zach Hester, Reporter • email@example.com
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 2022 Alabama gubernatorial election is right around the corner, but Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) will not be on the ballot for the top job – if Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) agrees to seek second term.
In an interview with CBS 42 in Birmingham, Ainsworth stated he would seek re-election to the No. 2 spot in the state government if Ivey runs for governor again.
"Right now I'm focused on presiding over the Senate, trying to make sure we get good legislation passed," said Ainsworth. "But I'll tell you right now — first time I've said that on a TV station — I have no plans to run against Governor Ivey if she decides to run for re-election."
Ivey, who is currently the oldest serving governor in the United States at age 76, has not revealed her plans for another term at the helm of the State of Alabama.
"We're busy getting shots in arms and we’re busy working on the prison system and other major issues that have been long neglected in our state," said Ivey during a stop at a vaccination clinic in her hometown of Camden. "So my plate’s pretty full right now and it’s just not time to make that decision or know.”
Ivey first ascended to the Governor's Office in 2017 after the resignation of then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) due to a sex scandal involving an aide. Ivey was elected for a full term as Governor in 2018 over Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. She is constitutionally eligible to seek one more term in the office.
Lt. Gov. Ainsworth, a 40-year-old former state representative and Guntersville native, has also stated that he does not intend to enter the race to replace Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) next year.
Over the last year, Ivey and Ainsworth have sometimes been at odds in regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, namely the mask mandate and the government's role in regulating health protocols. This disagreement led to thoughts that a rift between them could result in Ainsworth challenging Ivey in the Republican primary; however, it appears that no such rift exists.