Crowded fields line up for 2018 Alabama governor's race

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( — At least 11 candidates have filed notices of their intentions to run for governor next year, a mix of established politicians and newcomers.

Candidates can't officially qualify with the Democratic and Republican parties until January 8. But they could begin raising money in June, one year before the primaries.

Five Democrats and five Republicans have notified the secretary of state's office that they are raising or will raise campaign funds.

On the Republican side, Gov. Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Birmingham evangelist Scott Dawson, state Sen. Bill Hightower of Mobile and Birmingham businessman Josh Jones.

On the Democratic side, those who have announced include former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, Jason Childs, a truck driver from Oxford, James Fields of Hanceville and Anthony White of Dothan.

Mark Johnston of Hayden is running as an independent.

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