MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) –- Incumbent Kay Ivey defeated eight other candidates for the republican nomination for governor in Tuesday night’s primary.

The other Republican candidates included: Tim James, Linda Blanchard, Robert “Lew” Burdette, Stacy George, Donald Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young.

Ivey has served as Alabama’s first female Republican governor since 2017. She served as lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2017 and state treasurer from 2003 to 2011. Identifying as a “conservative fighter,” Ivey signed in to legislation a bill banning transgender athletes in public schools from playing on sports teams with the gender they identify with.

Even though Sec. of State John Merrill characterized voter turnout in today’s election as “moderate,” Ivey secured enough votes to avoid a runoff election.

In a speech at her election night watch party in Montgomery, the governor thanked supporters:

“I can’t tell you how proud I am to be here with you all tonight as we celebrate this hard-fought victory. Let me tell you this – this could not have happened without each and every single one of you here tonight and watching at home,” she said. “Your thoughts, your prayers, your support – and your votes – have allowed us to win the Republican Primary tonight outright. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence congratulated Ivey on Twitter saying she “has a proven record serving the people of Alabama.”

Democratic candidates in the race included: Yolonda Flowers, Doug Smith, Malika Sanders-Fortier, Arthur Kennedy, Chad Martin, and Patricia Jamieson. A runoff election between Flowers and Sanders-Fortier will be held June 21.

The general election for the governor’s race will be held Nov. 8.