- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Fueled partly by deep-pocketed corporate donors, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey extended her fundraising lead in the race for governor, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

Ivey reported raising $735,450 in September. Democratic challenger Walt Maddox reported raising $373,016.

Since announcing her bid for governor, Ivey has raised a total of $6.1 million for her campaign, although a sizeable portion of that was spent during the GOP primary in which she faced multiple challengers. Maddox has raised a total of $2 million.

Ivey last month received a number of donations from large corporations and influential political action committees.

Ivey’s large contributions in September included $25,000 each from: the Alabama Farmers Federation PAC; Alabama Realtors’ PAC; a medical association PAC; Alabama Power Co. Employees PAC; Drummond coal company; Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Protective Life Corporation; Regions Bank and the Alabama Forestry PAC.

Maddox’s large contributors in September were $150,000 total from PACs run by Tuscaloosa accountant Mike Echols and $15,000 from Greenetrack dog track and bingo hall.

The use of the political action committees can obscure the source of the donations. The PACs took in money from a number of contributors last month, including nursing homes, a business associated with VictoryLand dog track and bingo hall and law firms.

Maddox is running on a platform of establishing a state lottery to fund education programs and legalized gambling to fund expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

Maddox has said he wants to sign a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and legalize “the gaming institutions that exist,” ending a long-running attempt by the state to shut down gambling machine operations at dog tracks.

With her financial advantage, Ivey began running a new campaign ad this week.

With a little more than a month to go before the Nov. 6 election, both candidates have about $500,000 remaining in their campaign coffers.

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