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Richard Shelby endorses former chief of staff to replace him

“She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time,” Sen. Richard Shelby said.

Katie Boyd Britt speaks before the Business Council of Alabama.

Retiring Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby on Thursday threw support for his replacement to his former chief of staff, Katie Boyd Britt. 

“She’s like family. She’d make a good candidate. She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time,” Shelby told Politico. “I’d support her, I’d vote for her.”

After six terms, Shelby announced in February he will not seek reelection in 2022. Britt, a native of Enterprise, served as Shelby’s chief of staff from 2016 until 2018. She stepped down as head of the Business Council of Alabama on June 1, and announced her candidacy on Tuesday. 

Shelby told Politico that while he supports Britt, he won’t play a role in helping her campaign. Politico noted that former President Donald Trump endorsed as Shelby’s replacement U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, in April. Former ambassador and Republican Lynda Blanchard is also in the running to replace Shelby. 

“Could be an interesting race. We’ll have to see how it develops,” Shelby told the news outlet. “She’s got to run her own campaign, I’m not running her campaign. She’s got her own people.”

Britt, through her campaign, released a statement Thursday on Shelby’s support of her campaign: 

“The response to our campaign has been incredible, and the momentum continues to build rapidly. I will put Alabama First, deliver real results for our state, defend our Christian conservative values and never apologize for it. I’m truly grateful for Senator Shelby’s kind words and support. He’s a fifth generation Alabamian who knows and loves our great state. As Alabama’s greatest statesman, he has been an effective advocate for Alabama jobs and opportunity. Each and every vote I earn is humbling, and the endorsement I’m trying to earn every single day is that of the people of Alabama. I will continue to work tirelessly so that hardworking Alabama families get to know me and how I will fight for them as their next Senator.”

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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