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Report: McConnell backers, “Never Trump” donors recruited Durant to run for Senate

Brooks also noted in his remarks that Durant’s record does not indicate he has ever been an active Republican.

Alabama Senate candidate Mike Durant. (VIA DURANT CAMPAIGN)

Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, continues to warn conservatives that his competitor for U.S. Senate, candidate Mike Durant, is a “John McCain Republican,” a phrase also used by former President Donald Trump to describe Durant, according to APR sources. 

Durant’s campaign backers also appear to be linked to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney, two men who have battled against Trump and the MAGA movement. 

Brooks lately has been focused not only on Durant’s patrons but also holes in his voting record, which seems to indicate he has not consistently supported Republican candidates. 

During a campaign town hall event, APR recently reported that Brooks outlined a report by Fox Business detailing how More Perfect Union allegedly recruited Durant into the race and is now backing his bid.

More Perfect Union’s political director, Zack Czajkowski, was formerly the political director of the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project. He previously worked on the campaigns of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Governor Terry McAuliffe, D-Virginia.

The group is believed to be supporting Durant’s candidacy through a super PAC called “Alabama Patriots PAC.”

John Chambers, the former executive chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, is reportedly one of the principal financial backers of the effort. Online records show Chambers has also funded Republicans viewed as relatively moderate or anti-Trump in some quarters, like Utah’s Romney, the late Arizona Republican Senate McCain, former House speaker John Boehner, and McConnell. Chambers gave $100,000 to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund in 2020.

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Per Fox Business, other top donors to the More Perfect Union effort include California’s Jeffrey Chambers, Thomas Safran, and Gerald Risk. 

Notably, Safran has made multiple donations to Kamala Harris and gave more than $700,000 in 2020 to the Biden Victory Fund. Risk, now a lecturer at Stanford University, once worked for the Silicon Valley tech giant Asurion.

At a campaign event in Pell City this past week, Brooks continued to hammer Durant on his More Perfect Union backers.

“How many of y’all have heard of More Perfect Union?” Brooks asked the crowd at a local restaurant. 

“More Perfect Union is a left-wing organization,” Brooks continued. “They only support Democrats or the most liberal of Republicans.” 

He said: “More Perfect Union is trying to recruit people who have served in the military, who have that kind of background, who they believe will be John McCain Republicans.” Brooks went on to say that More Perfect Union is a “liberal Republican organization— to a large degree, they’re associated with, directly or indirectly, the Lincoln Project. They tend to be never-Trumpers, and they’re to a large degree the liberal big-tech oligarch type people out in California.”

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“[T]hey perceive that he (Durant) is the most liberal of all the candidates who are running and the most liberal, conceivably, that they could market to try and get elected in the state of Alabama,” Brooks said.

Brooks also noted in his remarks that Durant’s record does not indicate he has ever been an active Republican.

“Mike Durant doesn’t like to vote,” Brooks said. “He wants to be our United States senator. He doesn’t like to vote.”  

“Over the last 12 years, according to the Alabama secretary of state records, Mike Durant has not voted one time in a Republican primary, he’s not voted one time in a Republican runoff, he has not voted one time in a legislative race, and he’s not voted one time in a governor’s race. He’s missed 15 of the last 18 statewide elections,” Brooks said.

Records show that the only time Durant has ever voted in a Republican primary was 2008, when McCain was on the ballot.

Brooks summarized that Durant is “someone who seems to be pretty liberal according to the people who are funding him and recruited him to run.”

“I would submit that he is not someone who shares our conservative values,” Brooks said.

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Brooks and Durant will face Katie Britt in the Republican primary on May 24.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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