The major Republicans figures in Alabama’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate race qualified at Alabama Republican Party headquarters in Birmingham Tuesday.
Each surrounded with their respective campaign entourages, sitting Gov. Kay Ivey, and U.S. Senate candidates Katie Britt and Mike Durant all qualified for the Republican ticket by the close of business Tuesday, with lawmakers and Alabama GOP leadership present throughout most of the afternoon.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to run for reelection to this important office,” Ivey said in a statement after signing the qualifying papers. “I am proud of the work my administration has done on behalf of the people of our state, and I look forward to sharing my vision for Alabama’s future with Alabamians as I ask for their continued support. We have accomplished a lot, but there is a lot more that needs to be done. It is my goal to continue to serve and deliver results to the people of our state.”
In a release from the campaign after the signing concluded, Campaign Manager William Califf said Ivey has strong momentum and broad support going into the campaign due to the tremendous success of the Governor’s first term.
“Governor Ivey has been a fighter for Alabamians and has consistently delivered strong results to the people of this state,” Califf said. “Governor Ivey has achieved the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama history, created over 44,000 new jobs, secured record funding for our schools with record pay for our teachers and banned transgender athletes from competing in school sports. She made substantial improvements to our state’s infrastructure, signed the strongest pro-life bill in the country, strengthened the integrity of our elections, banned vaccine passports, and the list goes on. With all of these accomplishments, Governor Ivey has strong momentum going into this election and maintains broad and energized support for her continued leadership.”
Next to arrive at Alabama Republican Party Headquarters was Katie Britt, U.S. Senate candidate and former president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, flanked by her husband and two children along with a gaggle of campaign supporters.
“Sitting down with people and community in all 67 counties has been remarkable,” Britt said. “Too often we have leaders that lecture us and not listen to people and to sit down and hear opportunities and challenges and hear their struggles and hear how they’ve persevered and their innovation and their hopes and their dreams and knowing that every bit of that is worth fighting for, knowing that every community matters.”
In a later press release, Britt pledged to “fight tirelessly to protect our Christian conservative values, preserve the American Dream and ensure our state always has the best possible seat at the table.”
“It is clear that Alabamians want fresh blood to shake things up in D.C. and put America and Alabama first – not the Washington special interests,” Britt said. “Together, we will save the country we know and love from ineffective career politicians.”
Mike Durant, another U.S. Senate candidate and veteran known for his involvement in the Battle of Mogadishu, who founded Pinnacle Solutions in Hunstville, arrived later in the afternoon.
“I think like a lot of veterans, we’re a little bit dissatisfied, more than a little bit, we’re quite frustrated, honestly, with the current leadership in Washington,” Durant said. “There are a lot of veterans stepping up right now to serve because we think we have great experience and the brain to do this kind of a role. I think I can do a good job. I mean, I’ve got the military experience and I’ve got the business experience–, I’m not a career politician, and that’s what people are looking for.”
Durant mentioned that in December, he transferred ownership of his company, Pinnacle Solution, to his employees through an employee stock ownership plan.
“[the employees] have been rewarded and it’s a great exit strategy for me,” Durant said. “It’s truly a win-win.”
In a recent interview on the conservative Black Rifle Coffee podcast, Durant said he would be forced to fire 80 employees who refuse to take a COVID-19 vaccine in accordance to a recent nationwide vaccine mandate for businesses with over 100 employees.
Durant, although climbing, ranks third in recent polls for the Alabama Senate race, with Britt and current Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, the two lead contenders.
Also Tuesday, Senate Candidate Jessica Taylor announced she was dropping out of the race, immediately endorsing Durant for U.S. Senate. The Republican Primary is scheduled for May 24.