Former Trump administration Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard was in Fayette Tuesday speaking to the Fayette County Republican Party. Blanchard is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama. Shelby is retiring when his current term, his sixth, ends.
“I grew up in Montgomery and have lived in Alabama my whole life, outside of my ambassador service in Slovenia,” Blanchard told the crowd of over 30 GOP activists and local elected officials. “I am funding my own race,” Blanchard said. “That means when I come to Washington I will not be beholden to anyone.”
Blanchard’s rise from humble beginnings to multi-millionaire status is an American success story. Fayette County Republican Party Chairman Rev. John Killian said: “She has a sharp mind. She and her husband became multi-millionaires. They did it through the free enterprise system, not socialism.”
“I went to Alabama public schools my whole life,” Blanchard said of her childhood growing up in the Montgomery area.
“In my junior and senior years, I would leave school to go to work at Bonanza Restaurant,” Blanchard said. “I was married at 19. We did not have a lot of money, so I worked and my husband went to college first. At 28, with two babies, I went to college. I studied at Auburn University in Montgomery my first two years. I studied math and computers so had to finish at Auburn. I drove back and forth (from Montgomery) to Auburn to get my degree.”
“I was pregnant with my third child, sitting around the kitchen table, we decided to start a business in my mid-thirties,” Blanchard said. “We needed help so we hired my mother-in-law and my twin sister.”
“I had convinced one of the doctors that I worked with to partner with my husband and I on our first building, a 40 unit apartment complex in Mobile,” Blanchard explained. “Our business really excelled for 12 years.”
“Our oldest son had gotten involved in drugs,” Blanchard said. “He passed away from drugs. After Christopher’s death, I stepped away from the business for a year.”
Blanchard said that after that year her husband suggested that they do something to start helping children in Alabama.
“We started helping orphans in Alabama and adoptions in Alabama,” Blanchard said. “I got real involved with that. Then someone in my church suggested that we do something to help in Malawi Africa.”
She and her husband have adopted children from overseas. “They are truly a blessing.”
Blanchard explained that their work in Africa led her to Capitol hill to get expert help.
“I partnered with three adoption agencies,” Blanchard said. “There was bipartisan support in Washington for three things: children, orphans, and Africa.”
“I was spending my own money,” Blanchard said. “I developed close friends in Washington.”
One of those close friends was Congresswoman Kay Granger, R-Texas. When Alabama was left off of the list to receive the F35, Montgomery phoned Blanchard and asked her to do what she could to help. Blanchard went to see Granger, who was then Shelby’s counterpart in the House on defense appropriations. Blanchard had previously hosted Granger in Montgomery where the Congresswoman saw Maxwell and Dannelly Field.
“By the end of the day Congresswoman Kay Granger had Alabama back on the list,” Blanchard said. “I have always worked for Alabama because I want to do what is best for the state of Alabama.”
“We supported the President (Trump) in the 2016 election,” Blanchard said. “Two weeks after the election, I got a phone call asking if I would apply to serve in this administration.”
Blanchard said that her nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia was very controversial. It came up as a package of three options for the Senate to consider and always the Senate chose to consider one of the three other less controversial nominations.
“Finally (then Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell decided to put me through in on a cloture vote,” Blanchard said. “You really do not want to take Senate time for your nomination.”
“Sen. (Bob) Menendez did not agree with my nomination,” Blanchard said. “I got the word that he was going to slam me on the floor of the Senate.”
Blanchard said that on the floor of the Senate, Menendez accused her of mixing religion and politics. He cited a Facebook post on election night where she prayed that, “May God paint this country red with the blood of Jesus.”
“He used something I said on Facebook,” Blanchard said. “That was the only thing Sen. Menendez and the Democrats who were working against our President can find about me. He thought that was a terrible thing; but it was a blessing for me.”
“President Trump had a plan for all of his ambassadors,” Blanchard said.
The President was stressing that all of the NATO governments in Europe spend two percent of their GDPs on defense, “So that we as taxpayers don’t have to bear the burden of defending them.”
Other priorities of the administration included: energy diversification, banking, 5G, and cybersecurity.
“God has prepared me to be Senator,” Blanchard said citing repeated attacks against her by the Left including on Lester Holtz’s six o’clock news.
While in in Slovenia, “KGB spies moved across the street from me.” The Iranians also targeted the embassy.
“My security level went from a little high to crazy high,” Blanchard said. “And remember I had four children with me.”
At one point a red beam from a quarter of a mile was hitting her security
“What they are doing is ranging your people,” Blanchard explained. “The beam went into my domestic residence.”
Security called in the Marines, She was in the shower but could hear boots coming up the steps so stepped out of the shower and put a robe on.
“They tell all ambassadors to have a robe handy,” Blanchard said. “Four men came in my bathroom. They thought it was a surface to surface missile. They slammed me to the floor and then escorted me to the secure area and then went upstairs to get my children. Because my team handled it so well they all got two pins. I got pinned before I left.”
“I am ready for the battle,” Blanchard said. “I want what is best for my children.”
Living in Slovenia where the taxes are 50 percent, “They can’t get into see a doctor. If 50 percent is going to the government there is nothing left to live on. That is what we don’t want.”
“The Democrats have been plotting and planning against elections since the 1960s with President Kennedy,” Blanchard charged.
“When Facebook banned Donald Trump, my Chinese daughter who is in the ninth grade asked how can terrorist leaders have the opportunity to be on social media, but a former President can’t,” Blanchard said.
“I have the armor on and I am ready to go to battle for you,” Blanchard said. “I think we will grab votes in 2022 and we will elect a strong leader as President in 2024. I support President Trump He is my President still.”
Blanchard said that she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, owns hunting land, and shoots regularly.
“I have shot for years,” Blanchard said. I have a 9 millimeter with the red crimson trace. It is my favorite. I have a permit to carry; and I have one with me tonight; because I am coming back to Montgomery in my truck.”
Blanchard said that she is strongly pro-Life and has been so since the eighth grade where she spelled out her pro-life beliefs in a paper she wrote in Cloverdale Junior High.
The Republican primary is scheduled for May of next year. Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, has also announced that he is running for the Senate seat. Other candidates are expect to announce in coming weeks.