X-Books-A-Million CEO Lew Burdett Joins Alabama Governor’s Race

The Alabama gubernatorial race gained another candidate this week, as Lew Burdett, former Bux-A-Million CEO and current leader of a nonprofit in the state, announced Tuesday that he would be running against incumbent Republican governor K. Ive. are running.

“I’m Alabama through and through. It’s just in my DNA, and it just breaks my heart that when I left the University of Alabama 40 years ago, we were in every category in health care and prisons and education. Were at the bottom. And here we are, 40 years later, and we’re in the same place. Nothing has changed,” Burdett said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The 63-year-old Republican spent 13 years with Books-A-Million, becoming president of Christian-based nonprofit King’s Home in 2002, before leaving in 1998. King’s Home, which Burdett currently leads, operates 21 group homes that help abused women and children.

This is Burdett’s first run for political office, projecting himself as a “political outsider” who has business experience and has seen the impact donations and support can play in helping Alabama residents.

“For the past 18 years, I have devoted my heart and soul to fighting domestic violence for abused youth, women, mothers and children,” Burdett told the AP. “I’ve seen hope and opportunity, countless lives transformed, and our precious children deserve so much more than what we’re getting in Alabama. They deserve to fight.”

Lew Burdett, the former CEO of Bux-A-Million, announced his candidacy for Alabama’s gubernatorial race this week. Above, Books-A-Million is pictured at the Bridgewater Falls Lifestyle Shopping Center in Fairfield Township, Ohio.
James Lensay/Corbis via Getty Images

Burdette joins a growing list of candidates to challenge Ivey in the GOP primary in May. Burdett filed the qualifying papers on Wednesday after making her announcement on Tuesday at the main campus of the King’s Home nonprofit in Chelsea, outside Birmingham.

In her announcement video, Burdett recalled being a kidnapping survivor at the age of 15. He said he was abducted outside his father’s grocery store in Roanoke, shot, thrown into a well and “left for dead.”

“I fought for my life at the bottom of that well and was saved only by the grace of God,” Burdett said on the video.

Burdett started with Books-a-Million when it was a mall chain called Bookland and served as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Former Trump ambassador Lindy Blanchard, businessman Tim James, former Morgan County commissioner Stacey George and operetta pastor Dean Odley have also announced their candidacy against Ivy.

Burdett is making his first run for political office. Like other challengers to Ivy, he positioned himself as a political outsider and said he would be a “disruptor” at Montgomery.

“As a political outsider, someone who has never been involved in politics, I do no one any favors. I have no influence. I’m going there; I’m going to be an agent for change. I am going to be a hindrance because that is the only way we can move the state forward.”

Asked what he would do on reform and health care – two policy areas he mentioned – Burdett said he thought there was a need for better training opportunities for prisoners so that they would have a “road to success” when released. May be

He said rural areas were struggling with access to health care, with the hospital that took care of them after the abductions were closed.

When asked, Burdett did not say whether Medicaid would support the expansion—some advocates have argued would help keep smaller hospitals financially afloat. He said he saw the benefits of the program for abused and neglected children, but as a conservative, he was “wary of printing Washington money.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.