Montgomery, Ala. – Standing in the scorching summer heat on the steps of the Capitol of Alabama earlier this month, Republican Senate nominee Mo Brooks was hailed by organizers of the January 6, 2021 rally in Washington for his efforts to undo the 2020 election. retaining the power of then-President Donald Trump.
“I was proud to be on stage with Moe Brooks that day,” said Amy Kramer, chair of Women for America First. “Mo has the truth on his side.”
Less than 10 hours later, Trump returned the favor by rejecting Congressman – for the second time – and instead backed his rival Katie Britt in Tuesday’s Republican run-off for the US Senate seat vacated by former Briton boss. retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby.
Alabama is one of a handful of states holding competitions Tuesday in the middle of the primary season, shaped by Trump’s efforts to influence the Republican Party. In Virginia, Republicans are choosing from Trump-elected candidates in Congress to stand up to some of the most vulnerable Democrats this fall. And in Georgia, Democrats will hold several close contests, including deciding which Democrat to challenge Brad Rafensperger, the Republican secretary of state who overcame a challenge backed by Trump last month.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is seeking re-election amid fears of homelessness and rising crime.
But the run-off in the Alabama Senate drew particular attention, both because of the drama surrounding Trump’s approval and because the winner is likely to prevail in November in a state that Trump won twice by more than 25 percentage points.
Trump initially backed Brooks in the spring of 2021 by rewarding an ardent defender of his baseless allegations of stolen elections. Brooks voted against the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election and gave a fiery speech at the rally, which continued the US Capitol uprising, telling the crowd: “Today is the day when American patriots start taking names and kicking ass. .
But almost a year later, Trump withdrew his support after the couple’s relationship deteriorated and because the conservative torch was dizzy in the polls. Trump blamed his decision on comments Brooks made months earlier at a rally in August when he said it was time for the party to move out of the 2020 presidential race – comments that Trump claims show Brooks, one of the most -conservative members of Congress, had “woken up.”
But the move was widely seen as Trump’s effort to save face amid other losses, and Brooks said he came after informing Trump that there was no way to “cancel” the 2020 election, remove Biden from power. or hold a new snap presidential election.
Trump’s disapproval was expected to end Brooks’ campaign. Instead, Brooks finished second in the state primary on May 24, winning 29% of the vote against Britt’s 45% and imposing a runoff.
Brooks tried once again to get Trump to support him, but Trump, who had mixed experience in supporting the winning candidates, instead chose Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff, calling her “the fearless first warrior in America.”
While Brooks and Britt have similar views, their race is a clash between two wings of the party and different generations. For decades, Shelby has embodied the political guard style of the Old Guard, using his influence and connections to quietly direct federal projects and funding to his home state.
Britt, 40, has the support of Shelby and other Republicans in the establishment, as well as deep ties to the state’s business community, reflected in her 2-1 fundraising advantage over Brooks.
Brooks, 68, is known for his bombastic oratory. The six-term congressman was a founding member of the Conservative Freedom Faction Chamber and made his opposition to Senate Minority Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a pillar of his campaign by embarking on a Fire McConnell tour of town halls. The McConnell-linked super PAC contributed $ 2 million to the Brooks’ PAC.
He also has the support of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who say he will need a solid addition to the Senate.
“It’s a Conservative race against the establishment,” Paul said in northern Alabama on Friday. “We need a fighter. We won’t get it if you send us an old Republican. We need a fighter like Mo Brooks.
Britt, meanwhile, emphasized her own conservative beliefs and tried to portray Brooks as a career politician, saying Alabama residents wanted “new blood.”
“President Trump knows that the people of Alabama are sick and tired of unsuccessful career politicians doing nothing. “It’s time for the next generation of conservatives to step up and shake things up in Washington,” she said after Trump’s approval.
Brooks disregards Britt as RINO – the derogatory of the Republican Party, which means “only Republican” – and claims that he is the only one with a proven conservative record.
Turnout is expected to be low, with less than 15% of registered voters likely to vote, according to Secretary of State John Merrill.
Elsewhere, in the nation’s capital, where democratic primary elections effectively determine the winners, Bowser is trying to deflect the challenges of two City Council members as the city fights a wave of crime, including Sunday’s shooting at one of the busiest destinations. for nightlife in the city. which left a 15-year-old dead and a police officer and at least two others injured.
In Virginia, voters will choose Republican nominations for what is expected to be one of the most competitive contests for the US House of Commons of the year.
In Coastal District 2, Sen. Jen Keegan is widely considered the leader of the Republican Party in the Republican race to face Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired naval commander and member of the House of Representatives committee in the Jan. 6 general election. In the 7th district of central Virginia, six candidates are vying to face Democratic MP Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA employee.
And in Georgia, Democratic lawmaker Bi Nguyen is trying to defeat former State Secretary Dee Dawkins-Heigler in the race for secretary of state. The winner will face Republican Rafensperger, who rejected Trump’s efforts to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and defeat the Trump-approved candidate in his May 24 primary.
In the run-off in Congress, Republican Vernon Jones, a Trump-backed candidate and former Democrat, is vying for truck owner Mike Collins to nominate Republicans for a seat in the 10th Congressional District east of Atlanta.
Republicans also have high hopes of ousting 30-year-old Sanford Bishop Democrat in the 2nd District of Southwest Georgia. GOP chooses between former Army officer Jeremy Hunt and real estate builder Chris West.
Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin of Richmond, Virginia, contributed to the report.
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Trump’s support is rocking the Alabama race
Source link Trump’s support is rocking the Alabama race