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Trump seeks to overthrow Republican governor of Alabama over canceled rally: report

FILE – In this July 29, 2020 file photo, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks at a press conference in Montgomery, Alabama (AP Photo / Kim Chandler, File)

(The Hill) – Former President Trump is reportedly looking to topple Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in his reelection bid next year, blaming her for the cancellation of a rally in the state this summer.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing Trump advisers, that the former president privately blamed Ivey for the decision to call off his rally in June, which was to take place at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

The former president is said to have met Lynda Blanchard, who served as ambassador to Slovenia in her administration, to discuss possible approval if she ran for governor.

Blanchard announced in February that she was running for the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Richard Shelby (R), who announced earlier this year that he would not stand for re-election. The two reportedly discussed a possible endorsement if Blanchard left the Senate race and ran for governor instead.

Taylor Budowich, director of communications for Trump’s PAC Save America, did not directly respond to reports that Trump seeks to oust Ivey when he is reached by The Hill, instead calling attention to the “mighty force” of the approval of the former president.

“Candidates from top to bottom in the ballot and from across the country are constantly seeking the approval of President Donald J. Trump. While we don’t comment on private conversations, the president’s endorsement is arguably the most powerful force in US politics and when he backs candidates they win, ”Budowich said in a statement.

Trump’s planned rally at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park was called off in June after Park Commission Chairman Bill Tunnell said the Republican Party contacted him, fearing the event could turn into a “partisan political event,” which led to the rally being canceled, according to NBC 15 News.

Tunnell said he contacted the attorney general’s office in late May to seek advice on holding the event, but said he was unable to respond in a timely manner due to the speed with which which the event had occurred.

The bureau noted, however, that political events can be held in the park as long as access is “available to all political parties and candidates on an equal basis.”

Some local officials, however, argued that the commission’s decision was marked by an anti-Trump bias.

If Trump supports a main challenge against Ivey, she will join a coalition of GOP lawmakers who now face major challenges after breaking away from the former president.

Trump endorsed former Massachusetts State Representative Geoff Diehl (R) for the gubernatorial post, after Governor-in-Office Charlie Baker (R) frequently criticized the former president and at one point backed his dismissal. Diehl served as co-chair of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in Massachusetts.

In Ohio, former Rep. Jim Renacci (R), a close ally of Trump, made an offer against incumbent Governor Mike DeWine (R), who said the former president was partly responsible for the January 6 attack on the Capitol.


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