- Associated Press - Friday, August 3, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Democratic challenger Walt Maddox kept fundraising pace last month with Gov. Kay Ivey, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday, a positive sign for his campaign as he takes on the Republican incumbent in the governor’s race.

Fundraising reports filed Thursday evening show that Maddox raised $245,024 in July. Ivey raised $248,523.

Maddox also has slightly more campaign cash on hand, heading into the peak of campaign season. Maddox has a campaign fund balance of $313,248, according to filed reports. Ivey has a campaign balance of $271,476.

While Maddox and Ivey posted similar numbers in July, Ivey has a more than 3-1 overall fundraising advantage when including money raised during the party primaries.

Maddox has raised a total of $1.4 million for his campaign, while Ivey raised nearly $5 million. Ivey reported spending most of that in the GOP primary as she faced multiple challengers from within her own party.

The cash advantage allowed Ivey to keep a heavy television presence during the GOP primary. Ivey began running a new television ad this week.

The Maddox campaign says it’s encouraged by the fundraising reports.

“This continues to be a great indicator of the popular support that’s out there for Walt Maddox as more and more voters, Republicans and Democrats, respond to Walt’s vision for Alabama,” Maddox spokesman Chip Hill said in the campaign’s statement.

The governor and the Tuscaloosa mayor will face each other in the Nov. 6 election.

Maddox is seeking to become Alabama’s first Democratic governor in 20 years. His platform incudes a proposal to start a state lottery to fund education programs.

Ivey is seeking to win the office in her own right. She had been the state’s lieutenant governor, but became governor last year when then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid an effort to impeach him.

Maddox last week challenged Ivey to a series of four debates ahead of the November election.

In another high-profile race on the November ballot, Democratic candidate for chief justice Robert Vance has more available campaign cash than Republican Tom Parker.

Vance and Parker have both raised about $425,000 for their campaigns, but Parker spent most of his money in a hard fought GOP primary with current Chief Justice Lyn Stuart.

Parker, a current member of the court, has $13,753 in his campaign coffers. Vance, who did not face a primary challenge, has $239,199.

Vance bested Parker in July fundraising numbers. Parker raised $2,030 in July while Vance raised $86,815.

The race has undertones of a rematch. The race pits Parker, a member of the court since 2005 and a longtime ally of former chief justice Roy Moore, against Vance who ran against Moore in the 2012 chief justice race.

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