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PACs go to battle in Alabama Senate race

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Republican candidates for the US Senate special primary election next month have been firing their own shots but several political action committees are also coming to their aid, offering endorsements and running ads in their support.

Prominent Republican PACs are running ads in support of Sen. Luther Strange, and on Wednesday, a high-profile conservative committee, the Courageous Conservatives PAC, announced their endorsement of US Rep Mo Brooks, who is seeking to upset Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican primary for the Senate seat.

“Our movement needs real fighters in Washington, and champions for our cause who can move the ball now, before it’s too late,” Courageous Conservatives wrote in their endorsement. “Mo Brooks is that champion.”

CCPAC took on Luther Strange, criticizing him for his handling of the investigation into former Gov. Robert Bentley.

“Luther Strange served as Attorney General for seven years and while in his first term he was one of those who took on the ObamaCare fight, his second term was highlighted by his time in the Bentley swamp,” they wrote. “There he killed an investigation into corrupt now former Governor Robert Bentley in what most see as a quid pro quo to get the Senate appointment.”

In their endorsement, CCPAC notes that their “hearts” wanted to go with former Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is also seeking the nomination, but they decided to go with Brooks because of Moore’s poor performance in statewide elections.

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“Some people say he has a loyal following that will turn out in a hurricane, but in fact he has a fickle following,” they wrote. “There’s a real legitimate concern that with a special election on December 12th that Roy Moore as our nominee could actually lose an Alabama Senate seat to a Democrat.”

The Courageous Conservatives PAC has shown an ability to affect, even if only moderately, elections across the country. Courageous Conservatives PAC initially began to help the Ted Cruz presidential campaign but later spread to other elections.

But before widening their net in politics, CCPAC led and funded the “free the delegates” movement, which pushed at the RNC to allow delegates to “vote their conscience” instead of with their state’s popular vote. The “free the delegates” movement was a last-ditch effort to revive Cruz’s candidacy at the convention.

It was unsuccessful.

CCPAC backed Trump ally Corey Stewart in the Republican primary for Virginia governor last month. They claim to have helped him gain 37.5 percent in the polls, barely losing to the more moderate Republican in the race, Ed Gillespie.

Brooks said he was happy to receive the endorsement.

“Quite frankly, I’ll take the endorsement of Courageous Conservatives over the help of DC special interest groups any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Courageous Conservatives is an ‘America first,’ patriotic organization,” Brooks said. “I am very pleased to have their endorsement and support.”

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Brooks has also drawn the endorsement of conservative commentators Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin. US Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, and House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, have also endorsed Brooks.

OneNation PAC, another Republican PAC, has produced an ad called “Cross” encouraging Strange for joining Trump in “fighting back against the liberals.” The ad touts Strange’s SB1126, a plan to build Trump’s border wall by transferring funds from “sanctuary cities.”

OneNation has bought radio ads in the past supporting Strange.

Email Chip Brownlee at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @chpbrownlee.

Chip Brownlee
Written By

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.



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