- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Responding to her primary challengers and questions about her physical condition, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a letter from her doctor on Wednesday saying the 73-year-old is in “excellent health.”

In the brief letter, Dr. Brian Elrod wrote that he sees “no medical issues that would prevent (Ivey) from fulfilling her obligations as governor.” Elrod said Ivey has received regular check-ups. “Governor Ivey has had physicals for the past 15 years, and she is in excellent health,” Elrod wrote.

Ivey’s campaign released the letter after State Sen. Bill Hightower and other challengers in the June 5 Republican primary released their own medical information, including test results, and challenged other candidates to do the same.

Ivey, who turns 74 in the fall, would be among the oldest governors to take office in Alabama if elected in November. Her campaign said the letter should settle any questions.

“Sorry to ruin your misguided publicity stunt, but we’re confident you’ll find new ones. Meanwhile, Governor Ivey is going to stay focused on fighting for her conservative agenda to keep Alabama working,” Ivey campaign manager Mike Lukach said in a statement.



Hightower, 58, argued Wednesday that the letter provides scant actual information about Ivey’s health. He said he’s “glad Kay has decided to release a letter” but expected more details.

“A letter from a doctor without any details is not a great deal of information from which to make a decision,” said Hightower, who released copies of his medical test results, including blood tests and a cardiac stress test.

“Knowing this is a demanding job, I released my medical records,” Hightower said. “It isn’t about age. It’s about can you do the job.”

Another candidate, evangelist Scott Dawson, released his own doctor’s letter describing the results of a recent chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram to examine heart function, and bloodwork. His physician said Dawson has no evidence of cardiovascular disease or past strokes.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s doctor, meanwhile, wrote that he has no evidence of underlying illness, and Battle only takes medication for seasonal allergies.

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