AP

Katie Britt, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama Senate runoff

May 23, 2022, 9:09 AM | Updated: May 24, 2022, 10:40 pm

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt reacts as she walks to the stage to talk to supporters...

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt reacts as she walks to the stage to talk to supporters during her watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate is going to a June runoff between Katie Britt and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who overcame losing former President Donald Trump’s endorsement to remain a contender for the GOP nomination.

The candidates are seeking the Senate seat now held by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring. Britt is Shelby’s former chief of staff and the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama. Brooks is a six-term congressman from north Alabama.

The two edged out Mike Durant, a businessman best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and held captive in the events chronicled in “Black Hawk Down,” to advance to a June 21 runoff, which is required when no candidate captures more than 50% of the initial vote.

“It is clear tonight that Alabamians want new blood. They want someone to go to Washington, D.C., and shake it up. It is clear that they want a true Christian conservative Republican who will lead on the America first agenda and doesn’t just talk about it but knows how to actually get something done,” Britt told supporters gathered in Montgomery.

Some had largely written Brooks off two months ago when Trump dramatically dumped his once-favored candidate in the primary. Brooks fought his way back to a second-place finish behind Britt, harnessing his history with voters, stumping with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and benefiting from a series of negative ads targeting Durant.

Brooks had continued to run under the banner of “MAGA Mo,” referencing Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan. In his Tuesday night speech, Brooks called himself the “America First, MAGA candidate” in the race, and said he has a proven record on issues like border security and opposition to abortion.

“This Senate runoff is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. It’s a battle to advance the United States of America,” Brooks said.

Trump had initially endorsed Brooks in the race, rewarding the firebrand congressman who spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. But the former president rescinded that backing in March, citing unhappiness with Brooks’ performance and accusing the conservative congressman of going “woke” for suggesting it was time to move on from Trump’s false claims of 2020 election fraud. Trump did not endorsed another candidate in the primary.

Phil. T. McCuiston Jr., 83, wore a cap emblazoned with “Trump” Monday to hear Brooks speak with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Huntsville.

“Trump gets 95% of them right, but on this one I’m going to stand with Brooks,” said McCuiston, a retired businessman. “He’s got the record.”

In east Montgomery, Jack Graham, 71, voted for Britt on Tuesday.

“It’s time to let the young people take over. Let’s see what she can do. I think she’s smart. She’s level-headed. She has a good background. She’s got good experience,” Graham said.

Outside groups pumped more than $20 million into the race, and Brooks benefited from a series of ads that took aim at Durant, including one from a political action committee that portrayed the former prisoner of war as opposing gun rights. Durant has called the ad “patently false” and said it was difficult to overcome an opponent with “zero integrity and unlimited resources.” He urged supporters to back candidates who want to go to Washington to do something different.

“You can’t stand here and complain about what’s going on in Washington, D.C., and then go cast your vote for somebody who’s part of the establishment,” Durant said in his concession speech Tuesday.

The Republican nominee will face the Rev. Will Boyd, a minister and engineer from Hoover, who defeated two opponents in Tuesday’s primary. Boyd was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018 but lost to Republican Will Ainsworth.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

4 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

1 day ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

Katie Britt, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama Senate runoff