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Polls in Alabama have closed as one candidate who recently surged in polling aims to obtain a seat held by longtime Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring at the end of his term.
Ahead of the election on Tuesday, leading contenders for the Republican nomination in the Alabama Senate race were Katie Boyd Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff who once led the Business Council of Alabama; Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., an outspoken conservative in Congress who received an endorsement from Trump but later lost it; and Mike Durant, a business owner in the state and a former Army pilot who was involved in the “Black Hawk Down” incident.
The contentious GOP primary race for the Senate is likely to lead to a runoff election on June 21 should no candidate garner more than 50% of Tuesday’s vote.
Trump weighed in on several races that took place on Tuesday in the Yellowhammer State and initially endorsed Brooks last year. Trump later rescinded the endorsement after he accused Brooks of going “woke” when he told voters in the state it was time to place focus on the 2022 and 2024 elections. Brooks was one of few members in Congress who offered overwhelming support for Trump following his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
Ahead of Tuesday’s election, Trump took a shot at Brooks on his TRUTH Social platform that debuted earlier this year.
“CAN’T DO THAT MO,” Trump wrote in response to a report that Brooks was still using campaign mailers claiming to have Trump’s endorsement.
While Trump offered no further endorsement of a candidate in the race ahead of the primary election, Britt told Fox News Digital last week that she had the opportunity to update him on the race and touted herself as “the best candidate to advance the America First agenda.” If elected, Britt, who was perceived throughout the race as a more establishment-minded candidate, would become the first woman from Alabama to obtain a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Durant has faced numerous battles during his campaign for the Senate, with questions about out of state donations and potential ties to a Super PAC being at the forefront.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Durant was potentially connected to a national group tied to Big Tech executives that hoped to move the center of power in the U.S. Senate to the middle by electing moderate senators in races this year and beyond. His campaign was heavily supported by the Alabama Patriots PAC.
Britt, Brooks and Durant all received substantial support from voters in the state throughout their campaigns, but ahead of Tuesday’s primary, Brooks surged in the polls and took second place behind Britt.
While most eyes were focused on the Republican race for Senate, others took into consideration that incumbent Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who largely refused to debate her opponents, could find herself in a runoff election.
Ivey, who formerly served as state treasurer and lieutenant governor for the state, became Alabama’s 54th governor in 2017 after then-Gov. Robert Bentley resigned due to a sex scandal involving a political aide. She was first elected to the position in 2018.
Billing her tenure at the helm of the state in campaign ads as “Alabama’s most conservative governor,” Ivey has remained largely in step with Alabamians as she opposed policies offered by the Biden administration. But her handling of COVID-19 and placing blame on the unvaccinated for the continuation of the pandemic did not resonate well with many voters in the state.
Last July, Ivey pleaded with voters in the state to get vaccinated as she insisted that “folks are supposed to have common sense.” At the time, Ivey said it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the vaccinated folks” and claimed the unvaccinated residents in Alabama were “letting us down.”
Ivey faced numerous opponents who received praise throughout the state in recent months, including Tim James, a businessman and the son of former Alabama Governor Fob James; Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman who served as the United States Ambassador to Slovenia from 2019 until 2021; and Lew Burdette, a Vestavia Hills native and the former chief operating officer for Books-A-Million.