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US election 2022: Trumps debunk endorsements in race in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. –

Standing in the sweltering summer heat on the steps of the Alabama Capitol earlier this month, Republican Senate candidate Mo Brooks was picked up by organizers of the January 6, 2021 rally in Washington. praised for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and keep former President Donald Trump in office.

“I was proud to stand with Mo Brooks on stage that day,” said Amy Kremer, president of Women for America First. “Mo has the truth on his side.”

Less than 10 hours later, Trump returned the favor by rejecting the congressman – for a second time – and instead endorsing rival Katie Britt in Tuesday’s Republican election for the US Senate seat. is being vacated by Britt’s former boss, retired Senator Richard. Shelby.

Alabama is one of the few states to host Tuesday races in the middle of a major season that has been shaped by Trump’s effort to influence the GOP. In Virginia, Republicans are choosing between Trump-aligned congressional candidates to take on some of the most vulnerable Democrats in the fall. And in Georgia, Democrats will orchestrate some tight races, including deciding which Democrats will challenge Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state who upspassed the Trump-backed challenge last month. .

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser is seeking re-election amid concerns about homelessness and rising crime.

But the Alabama Senate withdrawal has drawn particular attention because of both the drama surrounding Trump’s endorsement and the fact that the winner is likely to win in November given that Trump has already won two. times with more than 25 percentage points.

Trump initially endorsed Brooks in the spring of 2021, rewarding an ardent champion for his baseless claims about a stolen election. Brooks voted against President Joe Biden’s endorsement of victory and gave a fiery speech at a U.S. Congressional uprising rally, telling the crowd, “Today is the day that American patriots started knocking names down and kicking their ass.”

But nearly a year later, Trump dropped his support after the pair’s relationship deteriorated and as the conservative fire brand fatigued in the polls. Trump blamed his decision on comments Brooks had made months earlier, at a rally in August, when he said it was time for the party to exit the 2020 presidential race – the The comment Trump claimed showed Brooks, one of the most conservative members of Congress. , has “awakened”.

But the move was seen by many as an attempt by Trump to save face amid other losses, and Brooks alleged it came after he informed Trump that there was no way to “cancel.” quit” the 2020 election, remove Biden from power or hold a new election. special election for the presidency.

Trump’s disapproval was supposed to end Brooks’ campaign. Instead, Brooks finished second in the state’s May 24 primary, winning 29% of the vote to Britt’s 45% and being forced to vote.

Brooks again tried to get Trump to endorse her, but Trump, who had a track record of backing winning candidates, instead chose Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff, calling her a “America’s First Soldier Has No Fear”.

While Brooks and Britt share similar views, their race represents a clash between two wings of the party and different generations. Shelby for decades epitomized the old style of protectionist politics, using her influence and connections to quietly direct federal projects and fund her home state.

Britt, 40, has the endorsement of Shelby and other established Republicans, as well as a deep connection to the state’s business community, reflected in her 2-1 fundraising advantage over her with Brooks.

Brooks, 68, is known for his flamboyant rhetoric. The six-term congressman was a founding member of the Conservative Liberal Caucus and made his opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a mainstay of his campaign, starting his “Tourism Tour” Fire McConnell” to town halls. A McConnell-affiliated super PAC contributed $2 million to a PAC against Brooks.

He also has the backing of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who say he would be a much-needed tough addition to the Senate.

“This is a race of conservatives against establishment,” Paul said Friday in northern Alabama. “We need a fighter. We won’t get it if you send us any old Republicans. We need a fighter like Mo Brooks.”

Britt, meanwhile, emphasizes her own socially conservative beliefs and has tried to paint Brooks as a career politician, saying that the Alabamians want “new blood”.

“President Trump knows that the Alablamians are fed up and tired of politicians who have failed in their careers. It’s time for the next generation of conservatives to step up and shake things up. in Washington,” she said after Trump’s endorsement.

Brooks decried Britt as a RINO – the GOP word means “Republican in name only” – and insisted he was the only one with a proven conservative track record.

Voter turnout in the race is expected to be low, with less than 15% of registered voters likely to vote, according to Secretary of State John Merrill, according to Secretary of State John Merrill.

Elsewhere, in the nation’s capital, where the Democratic primaries effectively decide the winner, Bowser is fending off challenges from a pair of City Council members. as the city faces raging crime, including a shooting Sunday in one of the city’s busiest nightlife destinations that left a 15-year-old man dead and an officer police and at least two others were injured.

In Virginia, voters are set to choose Republican candidates for what is expected to be a pair in the most competitive US race of the year.

In the coastal 2nd District, Senator Jen Kiggans of the state is widely seen as the Republican lead in the Republican race to take on Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired Navy commander. and was a member of the House Committee on January 6, in the general election. In the 7th District of central Virginia, six candidates are in the running to face Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer.

And in Georgia, Democrat Bee Nguyen is trying to beat former Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler in the race for secretary of state. The winner will face Republican Raffensperger, who dismissed Trump’s attempt to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state’s 2020 presidential election and defeat a challenger endorsed by Trump in the May 24 primary.

In the congressional race, Vernon Jones, a Trump-backed candidate and former Democrat, is competing with trucking company owner Mike Collins for the Republican nomination for the Republican nomination. 10th congressional seat east of Atlanta.

Republicans also have high hopes of defeating 30-year Democrat Representative Sanford Bishop in the Second District of southwestern Georgia. The GOP is choosing between former Army officer Jeremy Hunt and real estate developer Chris West.

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Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press journalist Sarah Rankin of Richmond, Va., contributed to this report.

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