By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
State Representative Ed Henry (R- Hartselle) once again affirmed his opposition to US Senator Luther Strange on the State House steps on Thursday amid a new political attack ad against Strange’s opponent US Representative Mo Brooks.
Henry called Strange a “snake in the grass” and said he was opportunistically waiting to pounce on his opponent US Representative and US Senate candidate Mo Brooks.
A pro-Strange Super PAC put out a commercial this week questioning Brooks’ devotion to President Donald Trump. The ad said that Brooks refused to endorse Trump during the 2016 election.
Brooks responded by saying the ad was a desperate attempt by Strange to recoup support in Alabama.
Henry, who co-chaired Trump’s Alabama campaign, called for a press conference on Thursday to “set the record straight” on who supported Trump.
He said Brooks was the only US Senate candidate to support Trump after he won the Republican Primary last July. Brooks was US Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) Alabama campaign chairman during the GOP primary and supported Trump after he won the GOP nomination.
A PAC with connections to Brooks also donated $2,500 in October to the Alabama GOP earmarked to help Trump’s campaign in Florida according to filings from the Federal Elections Commission.
Other filing from the FEC show U.S. Senate Candidate and State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose) donated over $1,000 to Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee.
Henry further explained that Brooks had called him earlier this year saying, “I’m thankful we have Donald Trump as our President.”
Henry instead pointed the finger at Strange as someone who did not support him in the election. He said Strange didn’t start to support Trump until he had won the election in November.
“I will say, the minute Donald Trump won the election Luther Strange did become a supporter of Donald Trump, just as most Americans did,” Henry said. “So, he really took no risk with his political career there.”
He called Strange’s ads deceitful and said he questioned Strange’s statement that he has always supported Trump.
“I think next we’re going to find out Luther Strange actually invented apple pie,” Henry said.
Henry then pointed to a letter signed by Strange to US Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) asking that they maintain the filibuster rules in the US Senate. US Senators signed and sent the letter in April.
It came a day after US Senate Republicans employed the “nuclear option” to stop a Democratic filibuster on Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination.
“From the Trump side of the campaign that I worked on for nearly two years, this is a tragedy, this is a stab in the back, this is what politicians do when no one is paying attention,” Henry said.
Strange has also been critical of Henry throughout his candidacy. He has accused Henry of being a Mike Hubbard supporter. Former Speaker of House Hubbard was convicted of 23 ethics violations last year. During his trial, Strange had to recuse himself from the prosecution.
There have also been some comments from Strange that Henry is going after him to benefit his own political career. Henry dismissed this today by saying that he will not run for Brooks US Representative position if he does win the Senate race. He is also not re-running for his seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.
Henry has been a critic of Strange since his appointment by former Governor Robert Bentley to the US Senate. He said Strange sold his character to become the US Senator. Henry also filed the Articles of Impeachment against Bentley last year.
Henry was a US Senate candidate before dropping out of the race in May. He said he dropped out of the race so he could continue to criticize Strange.
“I will not run for the US Senate; however, I will continue to hold politicians who behave in a corrupt and improper manner accountable like Luther Strange,” Henry said after physically ripping up his qualifying papers in May.
Strange and Brooks join eight others in the bid for the US Senate seat. Polling puts former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in first with Strange in second. Brooks is in third place.
In 31 days Alabamians will go to the polls in the party primaries for the Senate race. If no one garners more than 50 percent there will be a run-off in September. The general election is set for December.