By PERRY HOOPER, JR.
On April 10th, 2017 when Kay Ivey took the oath of office as Alabama’s 54th Governor, Alabama truly was a rudderless ship. Facing felony criminal charges, Governor Robert Bentley, just a few hours before her swearing in, had resigned from the Governor’s Office in disgrace. Undaunted Governor Kay Ivey rolled up her sleeves and went to work doing what had to be done to rescue the state from its malaise.
Fast forward to November 6th 2018, Governor Ivey had just won the general election in a resounding victory over Democrat Walt Maddox. She had previously won the Republican Primary in June against four strong GOP opponents without a runoff – an amazing feat, especially considering she had never been elected governor. She had not only “steadied the ship,” she had replaced the rudder and engine.
Now the real work begins, and if her tenure as governor to date is any indication, she is the woman for the job. In her inaugural address, Governor Ivey promised to address Alabama’s biggest challenges head on: removing our prison system from federal court orders, repairing crumbling roads and bridges, and assuring our education and workforce development efforts properly prepare Alabamians for a 21st century economy. She also promised not to neglect other issues facing Alabama and I quote, “I hope the progress that we make will inspire us to tackle other pressing challenges, such as health care, rural economic development, access to broadband and other important issues.”
From day one economic development has been a top priority for the Ivey Administration. Her first order of business was to assure that the $1.6 billion Mazda-Toyota plant with its 4,000 jobs remained on track to locate in Madison County. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 18th shortly after her election. Alabama’s unemployment rate continues at all time lows, while Alabama’s workforce participation rate is at an all-time high. Alabama is definitely “open for business” under Governor Ivey.
I implore all Alabamians to get behind our Governor, put aside all partisan differences, and show the nation how truly great Alabama can become with Governor Ivey at the helm for a full four-year term.
Perry Hooper is a former State Representative from Montgomery who serves on the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee. In 2016 he chaired Alabama’s Trump Victory campaign.