After a wild campaign that saw him go from Donald Trump ally to Donald Trump executioner, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) ended up missing out on the title he really wanted: US Senator from the Alabama.
On Tuesday night, Brooks was easily beaten in a Republican primary runoff by Katie Boyd Britt, a longtime former aide to Sen. Richard Shelby, whose retirement opened that seat.
Brooks, a MAGA wing congressman best known outside of Alabama for his incendiary rhetoric at the infamous Ellipse rally in Washington on Jan. 6, entered the race to replace Shelby last year with the the ex-president’s enthusiastic endorsement.
However, Brooks’ campaign struggled with the entry of Britt – who had Shelby’s considerable machine power behind her – and another candidate, Army veteran Mike Durant. In March, Brooks’ poll numbers prompted the first-ever reversal of a Trump endorsement, which Trump justified by saying the far-right congressman had “woken up.”
But this bizarre turn of events seemed to liven up Brooks’ fading campaign. Armed with a crushing axe, Brooks surged in the polls. He began to hit Trump, and hard, goading him for his focus on the 2020 election by repeating his belief, anathema to the ex-president, that Republicans should be focused on the 2022 and 2024 races.
In the May 24 primary, Brooks edged out Durant and received nearly 29% of the vote, well enough to make it to the June 21 runoff with Britt.
But any chance that Brooks could win back Trump’s endorsement seemed dim. Britt, who has been boosted by establishment forces in the GOP — including Trump’s nemesis, Sen. Mitch McConnell — has also won the ex-president’s backing. This prompted Brooks to dismiss Trump for endorsing what he called “Liz Cheney from Alabama,” a serious insult in today’s GOP.
Britt’s victory on Tuesday all but ensures Republicans will keep that seat in Alabama’s deep red in November. If she wins, Britt will be the first woman elected to represent Alabama in the Senate.