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Newcomer Mike Durant comes out swinging at Mo Brooks

One day into his U.S. Senate campaign, Durant called into question Brooks’ career as a politician and his support of the military.

Mike Durant in a Senate campaign video.

Mike Durant has been in the race for U.S. Senate for only a day, but he’s already going after the front-runner. 

During a radio interview on 93.1-FM in Montgomery, Durant launched into an attack on Rep. Mo Brooks, who leads the race to replace Richard Shelby in early polling. Specifically, Durant went after Brooks’ record on funding the military and Brooks’ life as a career politician. 

“(Brooks) … voted not to fund the military to combat ISIS in 2016, one of the handful of Republicans who sided with a mostly Democratic initiative,” Durant said. “And then in 2015, he was one of a handful of Republicans along with Adam Schiff — if you don’t recognize that name, he’s the leader of the thorny Russia investigation — of California to cut off funding during that time again against ISIS. How can you possibly cut funding for our military to fight terrorism?”

Durant also claimed to be the most conservative candidate in the race and pointed out that Brooks voted to leave Afghanistan even earlier than U.S. forces ultimately withdrew. 

Curiously, Durant also praised former President Donald Trump, whose Afghanistan withdrawal plan Brooks voted to support. 

Brooks has served in public office for nearly 40 years, and has served as an Alabama congressman since 2011. In that time, he has never sponsored a piece of legislation that has passed. 

“I mean, it’s undeniable. Mo Brooks is a career politician,” Durant said during the interview. “I do not think Mo Brooks is the answer, and there are a lot of people who share that opinion.”

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Durant’s main competition, however, might not be Brooks. Over the last several weeks, Brooks has steadily watched his large lead in the polls shrink, as former U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s chief of staff Katie Britt gains ground. Britt has a sizeable lead in campaign donations and has received endorsements from ALFA one of Republicans’ most prized endorsements. 

Where Durant, a former Army helicopter pilot and current Huntsville businessman, ultimately fits in the race is unclear. He has some name recognition nationally — the movie “Black Hawk Down” was in part about his experience as a POW in Somalia in 1993 — and his military ties will be helpful. But he trails significantly in funding and statewide recognition, and his late start isn’t helping matters.

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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