Tommy Tuberville has kicked around the idea of running for governor of Alabama for a while now, but this week the former Auburn coach loaned himself a $100,000 to kickstart his campaign. This comes after taking time to visit with constituents across the state and analyze demographics for a possible run.
Tuberville would run as a Republican. Alabama’s current governor Robert Bentley is ineligible for re-election — and also embroiled in controversy. Tuberville took a shot at Bentley when asked this gubernatorial idea was crazy in an interview with AL.com this week:
“Do you think I am?” Tuberville asked.
“I don’t know, man,” I said. “I see what’s happening with our governor right now…”
“Got one in jail,” Tuberville said.
“It’s just a weird arena,” I said.
“Politics,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville is an Arkansas native that became arguably the Yellowhammer State’s most important figure during his 10 years as Auburn’s head coach. He racked up an 85-40 record leading the Tigers with one SEC title, a share of five SEC West crowns and a string of six consecutive Iron Bowl victories. On that note, Tuberville has a pretty genius line for winning over the Red Elephant Coalition’s vote.
"If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have Nick Saban."
– Tuberville on why Alabama fans should vote for him
— Opening Drive (@openingdrive) March 29, 2017
“I’m not doing it just to have a job, and I’m not doing it for ego — if I do it — I truly want to help the people because I have seen a lot of things in this state that can be improved,” Tuberville said in what amounts to his first policy position, controversially pledging to help Alabamians.
A hypothetical Tuberville campaign can not accept donations until June 5, and the deadline to withdraw from the Republican primary is Feb. 9, 2018. The Wikipedia page for Alabama’s 2018 gubernatorial election lists 23 possible challengers on the Republican side alone, including the mayor of Huntsville and candidates named Twinkle Cavanaugh and Young Boozer. The election is Nov. 6, 2018.
Tuberville, 62, won a total of 155 games in 21 years as the head coach at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and, through 2016, Cincinnati.