Six candidates are running in the Republican primary election for U.S. Senator from Alabama on May 24, 2022. Senator Richard Shelby (R), first elected in 1986, is not running for re-election. The candidates to perform best in recent polling and receive the most endorsements are Katie Britt, Mo Brooks, and Michael Durant.
Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Brooks on April 7, 2021, and withdrew the endorsement on March 23, 2022. In a statement, Trump said, “Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you.’” In response to the withdrawn endorsement, Brooks said, “I am the only proven America First candidate in this Senate race . . . I am the only candidate who fought voter fraud and election theft when it counted, between November 3 and January 6.” Trump said he would make a new endorsement in the race before the primary election.
Brooks was elected to represent Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in 2010 and served as Madison County Commissioner from 1996-to 2010. Brooks’ campaign ads have highlighted his speech at Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021, which preceded the U.S. Capitol breach. He has campaigned as an America First candidate, a term often associated with the platform of Trump and candidates who say they support his agenda. Brooks’ endorsements include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
Britt worked as chief of staff to Sen. Shelby and as the president and CEO of the Alabama Business Council. Her campaign website described her as an “advocate for smaller government, modern job growth, constitutional liberties and greater opportunity.” Sen. Shelby, Maggie’s List, the Value In Electing Women PAC, and Winning for Women, Inc. PAC endorsed Britt.
Durant served in the U.S. Army for 22 years before founding an engineering firm. Durant was the pilot of a helicopter shot down in Somalia in 1993, depicted in the book and movie Black Hawk Down. Durant’s website says he “is 100% Pro-Trump. He voted for President Trump twice, and he supports the America First agenda.” Former candidate Jessica Taylor, who dropped out of the primary in January 2022, and Gen. Michael Flynn endorsed Durant.
The winner of the Republican primary is also expected to win the general election. Three independent race forecasters rate the race either Solid Republican or Safe Republican. Before Doug Jones’ (D) tenure from 2018-2021, the last Democrat to represent the state in the U.S. Senate was Howell T. Heflin, who left office in 1997. Trump won the state with 62% of the vote in the 2020 presidential election.
Also running in the primary are Lillie Boddie, Karla DuPriest, and Jake Schafer.