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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Kathy Britt defeated Moe Brooks in the GOP Senate race in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, AL ( Associated Press) — Kathy Britt won the Republican nomination for the Alabama Senate on Tuesday, defeating Rep. Mo Brooks for six terms in the primary after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of revoking his original endorsement of Brooks.

This defeat ended a tumultuous campaign in which Brooks, a conservative troublemaker who spent more than a decade in Congress, is up against a man who has never held elected office. Brooks ran under the slogan “MAGA Mo” and fully shared Trump’s campaign lies. But that wasn’t enough for the former president, who initially supported Brooks in the race to replace former boss Britt by firing Senator Richard Shelby, but then withdrew his support as Brooks languished in the polls.

The race was one of the few contests held on Tuesday in the middle of the main season that was shaped by Trump’s efforts to influence the Republican Party.

By the time Trump endorsed her earlier this month, Britt was already considered the favorite in the race. She emerged as the top vote-getting leader in the May 24 state primary, but just fell short of the threshold that the runoff called for. Still, Tuesday’s result gives Trump the win at a time when his influence with the Republican Party has come under scrutiny.

The former president has had mixed success supporting candidates this election season, helping lift Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Ohio and floundering elsewhere, especially in Georgia. Voters in the former Republican stronghold rebuffed his attempts to oust the state’s GOP governor and secretary of state, who rebuffed his extreme pressure to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. And his problem in the pivotal swing state worsened Tuesday when two of his endorsed congressional candidates faltered in the GOP runoff.

In the 6th district of the northern suburbs of Atlanta, emergency room doctor Rich McCormick beat Trump-backed lawyer Jake Evans. And in the 10th district east of Atlanta, trucking company owner Mike Collins defeated Democrat-turned-Republican Vernon Jones.

Trump convinced Jones to run for the seat and drop his long-term bid for governor to clear the field for his chosen candidate, former Senator David Purdue. Perdue lost to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who backed Collins. The seat is being vacated by Republican Rep. Jody Hayes, who also lost his bid to oust Republican Secretary of State Brad Ruffensperger, another top Trump target.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination to serve another term, fighting off a couple of hopefuls amid fears of rising crime and homelessness.

But the Alabama Senate runoff has drawn particular attention because of the drama surrounding Trump’s support and because the winner, who faces Democrat Will Boyd in November, is seen as the overwhelming favorite in the Republican state.

Britt, 40, has described herself as part of a new generation of conservative leaders, dismissing Brooks, 68, as a professional politician. If she wins in November, Britt will become the first woman elected to the US Senate from Alabama and one of its youngest members. Previous female state senators have been appointed.

Alabama has spoken. We want new blood. We need fresh blood,” she said at her victory party. “We need someone who will fight for Christian conservative values, who will fight for the freedoms and freedoms this nation was founded on, and who will fight for the American dream for the next generation and the next generation.”

That argument seemed to resonate with some voters on Tuesday.

“She is young. She’s smart,” said 86-year-old Carolyn Bowman. “That’s what we need in Congress.”

Brooks, known for his pompous oratorical style, described the race as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, with the “true conservative” wing pitted against the establishment of the Republican Party. He dismissively referred to Britt as a RINO—a Republican Party pejorative term meaning “Republican in name only”—and claimed he was the only person with a proven conservative record.

A founding member of the Liberty House conservative caucus, Brooks has experience fighting party leadership and has made his opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a mainstay of his campaign by embarking on Fireman McConnell’s City Hall Tour.

In a speech Tuesday night, Brooks told supporters he respected the outcome of the race. But in a controversial race, he accused voters of being seduced by false advertising and congratulated major donors and “special interest groups” for funding Britt’s campaign.

“We are sending to Washington, DC, the complete opposite of what we need in the United States Senate. But voters have spoken. Perhaps they spoke unwisely,” he grumbled.

Brooks was initially considered a leader when he announced his candidacy for the Senate, and Trump was quick to offer his support, rewarding an ally who had been a vocal supporter of Trump’s false claims of electoral fraud. Brooks voted against confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and delivered a fiery speech at the “Stop theft” rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol uprising, telling the crowd, “Today is the day American patriots start destroying names and kicking ass. ”

But their relationship soured as Brooks struggled to gain momentum. Trump eventually withdrew his support in March, accusing Brooks – one of the most conservative members of Congress – of “waking up” for saying at a rally that it was time to drop the 2020 presidential election trials. .

Brooks fought his way to second place in the May primary and again tried to convince Trump to support him. But instead, Trump backed Britt 11 days before the second round many expected her to win.

Elsewhere, in Virginia, Republicans have selected a pair of pro-Trump congressional candidates to take on the two most vulnerable Democrats in the fall.

In the coastal 2nd District, State Senator Jen Kiggans won the Republican race in a bid to unseat Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired Navy commander and committee member on Jan. 6, in the general election. And in central Virginia’s 7th district, If Vega stepped out of the competitive field with six candidates to face Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

In Tuesday’s election in Virginia Beach, Nancy Ives, 70, said she voted for Kiggans in part because she believes the candidate is best placed to win in November.

“We need someone who can beat Elaine Luria,” said Ives, a retired nurse who lives in Virginia Beach and believes the Democrats have created a “mess” in the country while in office.

World Nation News Desk
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