MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Republican state Sen. Bill Hightower of Mobile announced Wednesday that he is running for governor.

In his announcement at Mobile’s Battleship Park, Hightower described himself as a “conservative outsider” and said Alabama needs new leadership.

“I have never been a political insider, or a Montgomery good-ole-boy. And I’ve never been content with the status quo or just maintaining. Friends, that’s not what Alabama wants, and that’s not what Alabama deserves,” Hightower said in a statement.

Hightower has served in the Alabama Senate since 2013. He has sponsored legislation that attempted to change Alabama’s income tax to a flat tax.

Hightower joins a growing GOP field expected to challenge Republican Gov. Kay Ivey in 2018.

While Ivey has not officially announced she is running, she has raised a little more than $1 million for a campaign. Hightower has raised $535,233 for his campaign

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington and corrections officer Stacy Lee George, all Republicans, have also announced bids for governor.

On the Democratic side, former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has announced she is running for governor.