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Mike Durant officially enters Alabama U.S. Senate race

Huntsville businessman and former military pilot Mike Durant could soon enter the race.

Update: Early Tuesday morning, Mike Durant announced on social media that he is entering the race for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. Saying he is a 22-year Army veteran and, surprisingly, “a pro-Trump” Republican, Durant said he has “one more tour of duty to serve my country and Alabama.” A three-minute campaign video featuring footage from when he was captured by Somalis in 1993 accompanied the announcement.

The field for the Republican nomination for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat could potentially get a bit more crowded soon. 

Republican newcomer Michael Durant, a Huntsville businessman and former military pilot, is set to enter the race possibly as early as Tuesday, multiple sources told APR. Durant would join an already crowded Republican race, with four well-financed contenders already several months into campaigns for the seat. 

However, there is no clear, long-term front-runner at present, with Mo Brooks’ poll numbers declining daily and Katie Britt, Jessica Taylor and Lynda Blanchard all struggling with statewide name ID. 

Durant should have no issue with ID — on a statewide or national stage. He was involved in one of the most famous incidents in recent military history, when the Blackhawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Somalia in 1993. The incident was famously portrayed in the 2001 movie, “Black Hawk Down.” Durant also authored a memoir of the incident, in which he describes his 11 days as a POW in Somalia and his rescue. 

After his release in Somalia, Durant returned to service and received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Army Distinguished Service medal, before his retirement. 

Durant is currently the CEO and president of Pinnacle Solutions, an aerospace engineering firm located in Huntsville. The company primarily offers flight simulation and training services, and also offers airplane maintenance and service options. Pinnacle has contracts with the various branches of the U.S. military and several of the usual defense contractors. 

Exactly where Durant would fit in the race, should he elect to enter, is unclear. Most major endorsements, including those from ALFA and the Business Council of Alabama — probably the two most important in Alabama Republican circles — have been issued, as has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. 

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Although, it’s unclear if a Trump endorsement would be welcomed by Durant. Durant worked on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, and as a fellow POW, likely didn’t take well Trump’s comments dismissing McCain’s capture and imprisonment in Vietnam. When asked about McCain’s heroism, Trump famously said that he “likes people who weren’t captured.”

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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