Walt Maddox is trying what no candidate has done before in Gov. Kay Ivey’s tenure as governor — get her to the debate podium.
Maddox, the Democratic nominee for governor, sent a formal letter to the Republican governor Tuesday, outlining a series of appearances and topics he recommends the candidates address in public. The topics cover pretty much everything, including:
• Debate One: education and economic development
• Debate Two: public safety, health care and infrastructure
• Debate Three: town hall meeting in a major Alabama city
• Debate Four: town hall meeting in a rural Alabama county
The topics and number of debates proposed by the current Tuscaloosa mayor are reasonable. More importantly, voters need to watch and listen to the two candidates together, outlining their views and strategies for Alabama.
Ivey, throughout her successful run for the Republican nomination was a no-show at every debate and town hall meeting scheduled across the state. Maddox, on the other hand, has met challengers head-on with tact and confidence. She has limited her campaign to advertising, press releases and ribbon cuttings announcing new jobs. The intent of the proposed debates is to show Alabamians that her leadership is responsible for creating new jobs and expansions, which is always good news. Alabama is in reasonably good economic condition, although much of the growth in investments and jobs are centered in areas that have large advantages over others in education, taxation and infrastructure. At the same time, poverty and unemployment are still too high in parts of Alabama, and there are no defined strategies to boost opportunities in those areas.
The challenge of bringing cohesion to Alabama’s education and economic picture is challenging for any candidate. Ivey has held a good path during her stint after former Gov. Robert Bentley was run out of office. Maddox has led a growing Tuscaloosa market with creativity and enthusiasm.
Both candidates are experienced and have a solid understanding of what government can do to help people and push forward communities.
Debates are not just about which candidate puts on a good show. Most party nominees are accomplished orators and know how to excite a crowd.
On Saturday, Maddox, speaking to the Alabama Press Association membership meeting — an event Ivey attends on a regular basis but sidestepped a gubernatorial forum invitation this year — said the governor should debate for the citizens of Alabama so they will have insight into tomorrow’s leadership and not just cast a vote depending on whether your political party is red or blue.Continue reading on The News Courier