Katie Britt beats “MAGA Mo” Brooks in Alabama Senate runoff

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Katie Britt beats

Republican Katie Britt secured her party’s nomination in the Alabama US Senate runoff election, defeating six-term GOP Rep. Mo Brooks after former President Donald Trump pulled his support for Brooks in March.

Brooks, who ran under a “MAGA Mo” banner and supported Trump’s stolen election claims, saw his endorsement from the ex-president unusually rescinded in the tempestuous race after he struggled to find his footing in the polls leading up to the May 24 primary.

Trump eventually endorsed Britt in the final stretch of the race after she emerged as the top vote-getter in the primary for a senate seat to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R.-Ala.) in the November general election.

“THANK YOU, Alabama!” Britt said in a statement on social media Tuesday night. “My family and I are truly grateful. Words cannot express our appreciation. The future of our great state is bright!”

Britt, the former president of the Business Council of Alabama and a former chief of staff for Shelby, received 54.4% of the vote in May, compared to 28.5% for Rep. Mo Brooks and 23.2% for Mike Durant. No candidate received 50% of the votes, forcing a runoff election on Tuesday.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., talks with the media after voting in Alabama's state primary in Huntsville, Ala., May 24, 2022.
Brooks, a conservative firebrand, fully embraced Donald Trump’s election lies and had run under the banner “MAGA Mo.”
AP/Vasha Hunt

Trump initially endorsed Brooks in the spring of 2021, in an apparent reward for his staunch defense of the former president’s stolen election claims

Brooks voted against certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory and delivered a fiery speech at the rally before the Jan. 6 riots, telling the crowd, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

But nearly a year later, Trump pulled his support as the Brooks languished in the polls. 

Trump said he yanked his endorsement in response to Brooks’ comments from months earlier, at an August 2021 rally, when he said it was time for the GOP to move on from litigating the 2020 presidential race.

The comments,  Trump said, proved Brooks — one of the most conservative members of Congress — had gone “woke.” The move was viewed as an effort for the 45th president to save face amid other election losses from candidates he endorsed.

 Brooks said he lost the endorsement after he told Trump that there was no means to “rescind” the 2020 election, remove Biden from power, or hold a new special election for the presidency.

While many expected Trump’s un-endorsement to end Brooks’ campaign, he still finished in second with nearly 30% of the votes in the May 24 vote. 

Brooks tried to get Trump to endorse him once again, but he ultimately threw his weight behind Britt rather than the six-term congressman, who had the backing of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who say he would be a needed hard-line addition to the Senate.

Virginia State Sen. Jen Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, speaks to supporters during an election party Tuesday June 21, 2022, in Virginia Beach, Va.
In Virginia, state Sen. Jen Kiggans won the Republican race to try to unseat Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired Naval commander and member of the Jan. 6 committee, in the general election.
AP/Steve Helber

“This is a race about conservatives versus the establishment,” Paul said Friday in north Alabama. “We need a fighter. We’re not going to get it if you send us any old Republican. We need a fighter like Mo Brooks.”

Brooks painted a narrative that the election was a race between the “true conservative” wing against establishment members of the GOP. He dismissed Britt as a RINO and maintained he is the only one with a proven conservative record.

A pillar of his campaign was his opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, dubbing his stretch of Alabama town halls as his “Fire McConnell Tour.”

“Every single person who helped this campaign is a patriot who loves America, and I thank you for it,” Brooks said in a concession statement on Tuesday night. “This isn’t the outcome we wanted, but I am proud to have fought for our country. America, and you all, are worth it. God bless.” 

Britt, meanwhile, cast herself as a new generation of conservatives that resonated with voters. She was endorsed by  Shelby and other establishment Republicans, but stresses her own social conservative beliefs and has tried to paint Brooks as a career politician.

“People want new blood. They want fresh blood. They want someone that will go to D.C., fight for their values and fight for the hard-working people of Alabama,” Britt told reporters Tuesday as she voted with her husband, former New England Patriot player Wesley Britt, and two children.

With Post Wires

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