Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama has come into the spotlight for saying she will be lifting the statewide mask mandate that was in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, starting April 9. For now she has extended the mandate till the same date.

But who exactly is Governor Ivey?

She is the first Republican woman to occupy the office. Before going on to lead the state in 2017, she served as the state treasurer and the Lieutenant Governor. She is 76 years of age.

Overall, Governor Ivey is the second woman to serve as Alabama’s governor. The first woman to hold the office was Lurleen Wallace, the wife of Governor George Wallace. Her stint was very brief though as she had stepped into the role for just about a year after state law prevented her husband from running for consecutive terms.Governor Ivey and Lurleen Wallace as connected by history though because as a student in the 1960s, she campaigned for Wallace. 

Also read: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey extends mask mandate till April 9

Born in 1944, Ivey grew up in the small town of Camden in Alabama and worked on the family owned farm before becoming a teacher and the politician she is today.

In 2014, while reflecting on her first term as lieutenant governor, Ivey said that she had worked with the Legislature to reduce unemployment, shrink the state government and pass budgets that did not require midyear cuts because of overspending, New York Times reported.