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Britt wins Republican nomination for Senate in runoff

Britt had all the momentum coming out of the primary in May, and Brooks could not slow her down.

Katie Britt speaking in Hale County. Courtesy of the Katie Britt campaign

Katie Britt will be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, mimicking her comfortable lead as the frontrunner during the initial primary election in May.

The former Business Council of Alabama president and CEO, and chief of staff to outgoing Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, had secured 65 percent of the vote on Tuesday, 32 percentage points ahead of Congressman Mo Brooks, as of the time of publication.

In a victory speech at the Alley Station Warehouse in Montgomery, Britt said the win was surreal considering she came into the race as an “underdog.”

“Nobody thought this was possible,” Britt said. “(My husband Wesley and I) knew we were the underdog, and that actually may even be an understatement. We were told by pretty much everyone, everywhere, this was an insurmountable task and to not take it on. But ultimately, the two of us believe in this state, we believe in this nation, and we believe both are worth fighting for.”

Britt said she was told she was too young and that she should “wait her turn,” that she was from the “wrong part of the state” and was asked “aren’t you a mom?”

“Everybody knows I love being from the Wiregrass, so that just fired me up,” Britt said of the idea she is from the wrong part of the state.

She said the comment about being a mom “turned her off the sideline.”

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“I have been a mama on a mission,” Britt said. “The two reasons Wesley and I chose to jump in this race are standing right here beside us (referring to her two children). We’re fighting for your children and your grandchildren.”

Britt said her victory is a referendum that shows Alabamians wanted “fresh blood” in the Senate.

Brooks conceded the race at a watch party in Huntsville just an hour after polls closed Tuesday night, but spoke of Britt as a Democrat candidate.

“We are sending to Washington D.C. the the exact opposite of what we need in the United States Senate,” Brooks said. “But the voters have spoken. They might not have spoken wisely. They may have been seduced by brazenly false advertising. But nonetheless, they have spoken and I respect them.

“Congratulations to the Alabama Democratic Party. They now have two nominees in the general election – Will Boyd and my opponent, who they endorsed and helped push over the finish line both in the primary and in the runoff. So congratulations to you.”

Britt had finished with 45 percent of the vote in the primary compared to 29 percent of the vote going to Brooks. Third-place finisher Mike Durant called out Britt after failing to make the runoff but stopped short of endorsing Brooks.

Brooks tried to eat away at the deficit over the past three weeks by painting Britt as the big-money candidate backed by the establishment, particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Britt continued her same campaign messaging but notably declined to engage in a debate with Brooks.

“I would love the opportunity for a debate, but unfortunately Congressman Brooks is more interested in creating a circus,” Britt told News 19. 

Brooks criticized Britt as “hiding” from the public, noting that both he and Britt had criticized Durant for avoiding a debate before the primary.

Meanwhile, both candidates continued to seek the endorsement of former president Donald Trump. Trump had originally endorsed Brooks, but rescinded his support nearly two months before the primary, leading to a very public falling out between the two. Still, Trump had not endorsed either of Brooks’ opponents in the primary, and Brooks had expressed hope as late as last 10 days ago that Trump, at the very least, would continue to stay out of the race.

However, Trump finally gave his endorsement to Britt on June 10, reminding voters that Brooks had “gone woke” at the Cullman, Alabama, rally at which Brooks encouraged voters to put the 2020 election behind them.

“He foolishly started listening to the wrong consultants and not to the people,  and his 54-point lead evaporated overnight,” Trump said in the endorsement.

Trump’s endorsement came after post-primary polls showed Britt maintaining a double-digit lead over Brooks among likely voters. 

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When Brooks finished second in the primary, he told supporters his campaign had “come back from the dead” like Lazarus. Ultimately, that revival may have been enough to prolong the campaign, but fell well short of defeating Britt for the nomination.

Britt will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd in the midterm election, which is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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