Katie Britt, a former chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, won Alabama's Senate runoff on Tuesday, comfortably beating Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). Britt won the election against her conservative opponent, putting the 40-year-old on pace to become the newest member of the US Senate.
Bitt's win is also a major victory for former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed Bitt in the runoff after he decided to rescind support for Brooks in March. The defeat culminates into a tumultuous campaign for Brooks, a conservative firebrand who ran under the slogan "MAGA Mo" and who had completely supported Trump's election claims.
A few Southern states held primaries or runoffs on Tuesday, but the main event was the Alabama Senate primary. Britt served as an assistant to Shelby, who decided to retire and vacated the seat. Shelby was the previous head of the Business Council of Alabama.
Neither contender received the majority of the vote necessary to win the election outright and avoid a runoff in the primary held last month. Brooks only received 29.1 percent of the vote, while Britt received 44.8 percent.
However, things changed on Tuesday, with Britt winning the runoff comfortably. Britt will now compete against Democrat Will Boyd in the November general election. Forecasters believe the Republicans will be able to hold the seat.
"People want new blood. They want fresh blood. They want someone that will go to D.C., fight for their values and fight for the hard-working people of Alabama," Britt told reporters on Tuesday as she cast her vote with her husband, former New England Patriot player Wesley Britt, and two children.
Britt has positioned herself as the next wave of conservative leaders. Despite having Shelby's and several other Republicans' support, she emphasizes her own social conservatism and has attempted to portray Brooks as a career politician.
Trump Domination in Alabama
Tuesday's results are a clear indication that Trump still has a strong foothold in Alabama. Trump endorsed Britt in the runoff after he rescinded his endorsement of Brooks in March. Trump first gave Brooks his support in the spring of 2021, rewarding a fervent supporter of his erroneous allegations of an election theft.
Brooks had voted against certifying Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory and delivered a furious speech at a rally prior to the insurgency in the United States Capitol, telling the gathering: "Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking a**."
However, things changed in March after the relationship between the two soured. Trump rescinded his support for Brooks as he had been struggling in polls at that time. Trump at that time had said that it was because the congressman made comments about moving past the 2020 election.
The move was generally perceived as an attempt by Trump to save face amid previous defeats. The action, according to Brooks, was taken after he told Trump that there was no mechanism to "rescind" the 2020 election, remove Biden from office, or hold a new special election for president.
Brooks made one more attempt to convince Trump to support him, but the president-elect instead went with Britt, despite Trump's mixed track record of doing so.
Trump's endorsement of Britt seems to have paid off as of now. As a former congressional aide, lobbyist, and former president of the Business Council of Alabama, Britt presents a more conventional Republican image.
In fact, Trump has scored a number of decisive wins in 2022 Senate primary races: Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Herschel Walker in Georgia and Representative Ted Budd in North Carolina.