A Glance into the Alabama Senate Republican Primary
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Anneliese Taggart
When six-term U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby announced in February that he will not be seeking re-election, four Republicans were quick to file candidacy for the Alabama Senate Republican Primary. Although all four candidates are supporters of former President Donald Trump, their political experiences and issues of focus differ across the board.
Here’s a rundown of who’s interested in taking over after Shelby’s reign.
Lynda Blanchard, an Alabama businesswoman and former Ambassador to Slovenia, was the first to join the race. Blanchard was appointed as ambassador in 2018 by Trump and focused her tenure on encouraging Slovenia’s NATO involvement and improving economic relations between Slovenia and the U.S. Before her service abroad, Blanchard co-founded a Montgomery real estate investment company titled B & M Management as well as the 100X Development Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating child poverty and preventing human trafficking. In her official campaign launch video, Blanchard established herself as a Christian conservative and mother of eight who is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-religious freedom.
One month after Blanchard launched her campaign, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks joined the race while serving his fifth term in the House of Representatives for the 5th Congressional District of Alabama. During his time in the House, Brooks has been known for his creation of the Army Aviation Caucus, his outspoken and controversial statements surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and being one of the first Congressmen to oppose the 2020 Presidential election results. According to his campaign website, Brooks is focusing his Senate run on promises of “draining the swamp,” strengthening national security, and ending illegal immigration. Last week, Brooks appeared at the Trump rally in Cullman, previously securing an endorsement from the former president.
While Trump put his support behind Brooks, Shelby quickly handed his endorsement to Enterprise native and his former Chief of Staff Katie Britt. Although Britt was third to join the race, she’s raised more than $2 million in the second fundraising quarter – according to AL.com, Britt set the record as the most money raised in a three-month period by a Republican candidate for federal office in Alabama. As former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, Britt has vowed to support lower taxes and fewer government regulations to expedite economic and job growth within Alabama.
Last to launch her campaign was Birmingham business owner Jessica Taylor. She is the founder of the grant-consulting firm Azimuth. In 2020, Taylor ran an unsuccessful bid in the Congressional Republican primary for Alabama’s 2nd District. Her campaign launch video specifically targets Vice President Kamala Harris, socialism and cancel culture. Supporting veterans, building Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and ending tax breaks and “sweetheart” deals for corporations appear to be Taylor’s issues of focus in her campaign.
The filing deadline is five months away, so the candidates could find themselves with more competition before the primary on May 24, 2022.