Alabama may often be seen as a laughingstock, but its citizens have a chance to change that by voting for Walt Maddox on Nov. 6.
According to U.S. News & World Report, our state is among the bottom 10 states in health care, education, opportunity, and crime and corrections.
In 2017, Philip Alston, an official from the United Nations, investigated poverty in the United States and toured Alabama as part of the project.
According to Alston, the poverty and environmental degradation in rural Alabama is something one normally never sees in the developed world and is comparable to a third-world country.
This begs the question for my fellow Alabamians: Are you happy with the current condition of our state? Or do you want to see a change and join other states in improving its citizens’ lives?
Thus, in the gubernatorial race this year, we should elect the Democrat based on his platform.
Maddox is everything Republican Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t and everything Alabama needs.
One major campaign promise is that when elected governor, Maddox will immediately expand Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income and disabled Americans.
Over 30 states have expanded Medicaid, and doing so would help thousands of Alabama citizens get the health care they need as well as save Alabama’s rural hospitals from shutting down, which has been a problem in the past.
Maddox also claims the Medicaid expansion would contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy and add 30,000 new jobs in the medical field.
So, what does Ivey think about Maddox’s health care plan?
One way to discuss such a topic would be through a public debate, which Ivey has refused to do.
When asked about debating her opponent, Ivey said that only her opponent and the media care about a debate and that Maddox is too busy debating with himself.
Maybe it’s easier for me as a journalism and political science student to be interested, but I think debates are essential for democracy so candidates can speak candidly about their platforms contrasting the others.
Ivey doesn’t want to debate Maddox because it’s likely a debate will only help boost his name recognition and attention in the media.
Maddox is a fresh face who appeals to young voters, and he has separated himself from the incumbent governor.
If Alabama truly wants to take a step forward, it can do so in November by electing Walt Maddox for governor.
Alabama has shown it can choose a left-leaning candidate, as seen in the 2017 special election.
Even though that race was an outlier, I hope our state can do that again.
Editors Note: A column in favor of the Republican candidate, Gov. Kay Ivey, will be published next week. Students and faculty opinion submissions are welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.