Gov. Ivey heads home for bbq, talks jobs and infrastructure in Alabama

WILCOX COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Kay Ivey stopped in her hometown of Camden, Alabama Friday for the first time since being sworn-in. The town held a barbecue in honor of the state’s 54th governor.

CBS 42 was the only station in Birmingham invited to sit down with Ivey as she visited Camden. We met Governor Ivey at the church she was baptized in to hear more about her transition from Lieutenant Governor to her new position after former Governor Robert Bentley resigned during a scandal.

Ivey was overwhelmed by hugs and handshakes as she made her way through the crowd. She says her administration’s number one priority is adding jobs, noting that Wilcox County is one of several in the Black Belt in need of improvements to its infrastructure.

“That’s the name of the game is everybody get prepared to land opportunity. At the state level we try to do a good job recruiting and I’m proud of that effort but nobody’s coming if the facilities are not there, if the work force is not there,” said Governor Ivey.

The governor gave the green light this year to widen Interstate 65 between Pelham and Alabaster in Shelby County. Ivey says that was an important move “because transportation is the key to the wheels of commerce.”

She wrapped up her first legislative session as governor in May but hasn’t decided if she’ll join the race for governor next year yet. Ivey says her focus is solely on the job before her now.

Ivey tells us, “I’ve still got some time before the decision has to be made about running for another office or for re-election or whatever. It’s important that I fulfill my responsibility to govern.”

Governor Ivey has spoken with President Donald Trump a few times since taking office but says despite controversy in D.C., her eyes are on Alabama and her hometown.

“It’s always good to have a good relationship with the White House, but at the same time I’ll always have on my mind doing what’s absolutely best for Alabama, not necessarily what’s best for Washington.”

The governor says she’s so humbled to drive through her hometown and see banners with her name. After a little break, Governor Ivey will hold workshops with people across the state to see what she might propose for her second legislative session as governor.

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