Alabama voters set to resolve MAGA-world feud in primary runoff

The race has left some of Trump’s most loyal cronies baffled by his decision to back Britt, whom he described less than a year ago as “assistant” to “Senator RINO of Alabama,” claiming that Britt was “not what our country needs. ”

Amy Kremer, president of Women for America First, a key organizer of Trump’s January 6, 2021 rally, who traveled to Alabama to help Brooks’ campaign in recent days, remained committed to Brooks despite Trump’s decision to revoke his approval.

“Donald Trump is out of touch with the grassroots,” said Kremer, who was an early Trump supporter and before that a prominent Tea Party activist. “I don’t know what happened there. I think he’s getting bad advice from people around him, and I think that’s a shame, but it’s time for us in the movement to get back to basics, to our first principles.

“We were here long before President Trump got here, and we’ll be here long after,” Kremer said.

Even after Trump put his weight behind Britt in the second round – and as public and internal polls showed Brooks’ prospects were weak – leading conservative commentators like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin and Charlie Kirk ​declared their support for Brooks until the final day of the campaign. Kirk, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Mark Green (R-Tenn.), and Chip Roy (R-Texas), and the Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman , Kelli Ward, appeared Monday night on a town hall show in support of Brooks, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also continued to lend their support .

Such a split among conservative leaders who generally side with Trump — but who have been willing to denounce his endorsed nominee — has been a recurring phenomenon in this year’s Republican primaries. Longtime Trump allies found themselves pitted against the former president in primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania last month, bitter races that led some Trump loyalists to argue he was wrong in his endorsements of JD Vance in Ohio and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.

Throughout the second-round campaign, Britt continued to rack up her own endorsements from high-profile Republicans, including the Sens. Tim Scott (RS.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). In recent weeks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the GOP candidate for Arkansas governor, and commentator Steve Cortes have also released statements and videos in support of Britt’s campaign. This follows several other incumbent senators who endorsed it earlier this year.

Paul remained a strong supporter of Brooks, visiting the state on Friday to campaign for the congressman. He told callers on Monday night’s town hall TV that Trump had “made some big mistakes.”

“A lot of us were conservatives, slash libertarians, slash constitutionalists long before there was a Donald Trump,” Paul told potential voters on the Monday night call. “We were happy that Donald Trump was with us on so many things, but that doesn’t make him the end of everything.

“I would say, without a doubt, Mo Brooks is probably the most loyal person to Donald Trump than probably any congressman I can think of, and there’s certainly a sense of bad irony that the president hasn’t repaid this loyalty. And I will never understand it, and I will never justify it.

Britt is the preferred candidate of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a sworn enemy of Trump, while Brooks is an opponent of the Senate Minority Leader. At least $2 million from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, which gave to a pro-Britt super PAC, added to Britt’s considerable spending advantage in the race. SLF said his involvement was part of an anti-Brooks effort.

Brooks, who was first elected to Congress in 2010 after spending a combined 25 years as a state legislator and a member of the Madison County Commission, led congressional efforts to oppose certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 – including speaking at Trump’s Jan. 6 conference. , 2021, rally. But Trump blamed Brooks’ waning support through the winter on comments the congressman made last year encouraging Republicans to leave 2020 and focus their efforts on winning the election in 2022. and 2024.

Britt, however, did not seek to defend Trump’s stolen election narrative, but instead carefully answered questions on the matter by suggesting there should be a ‘nationwide forensic audit’. , but stopping short of declaring that Biden’s victory was fraudulent.

Former Business Council of Alabama president Britt veered to the right as the campaign progressed, including unveiling her own restrictive immigration plan and criticizing Congressional spending on aid. Ukraine, something Shelby — and Brooks, for that matter — voted last month to support.

She has consistently managed to earn and keep endorsements from more than a dozen business and industry groups in Alabama.

“She’s got McConnell’s support, she’s got Shelby’s support, she’s got House support, and yet she’s supposed to be Tom Cotton on immigration and Rand Paul on foreign policy,” said Ryan Girdusky, a Republican officer. supporting Brooks, who was also involved in a super PAC supporting Vance in Ohio. “I will hold my breath.”

Alabama is an unlikely state to show up on the Senate map this year. Unlike in 2017, when Republican Roy Moore cost the party a seat as he faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the GOP nominee is virtually assured of a general election victory.

A handful of other safe seats are in play for Republican primary voters Tuesday night in Alabama and other states. The race to replace Brooks in the House pits Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong against former Deputy Army Secretary Casey Wardynski in a GOP runoff.

Georgia Republicans are also choosing candidates for a pair of safe red seats. Trump endorsed candidates for both seats — Jake Evans in the 6th District and Vernon Jones in the 10th — but the two primaries were nonetheless hard-fought.

And in Virginia, Republicans are picking candidates to take on a pair of Democratic members of Congress in key battleground districts. The race to face Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) in the 2nd District is one of the GOP’s top targets in the country, and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) could also have a tough race between her hands in the redesigned 7th arrondissement.

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