Politics Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race
Ex-Shelby aide enters Alabama Senate race despite Trump's backing of Brooks
A former senior aide to Sen. Richard Shelby has jumped into the Alabama Senate race, a sign former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks is not scaring away competitors. © Provided by Washington Examiner Katie Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff, announced her candidacy Tuesday, forging ahead with a bid to succeed her old boss, who is retiring in 2022, despite the weight Trump’s endorsement carries with Alabama Republicans.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) says he will support his former chief of staff Katie Boyd Britt in the race to succeed him in the Senate, opting to not back former President Trump's endorsed candidate, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).
Shelby's office confirmed to The Hill that the senator said he will throw his support behind Britt, who officially announced her candidacy on Tuesday, following an interview he .
"She's like family. She'd make a good candidate. She's probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time," Shelby told the news outlet.
Shelby sides against Trump in Alabama Senate race
The retiring incumbent declined to back Roy Moore against former Sen. Doug Jones, helping the Democrat defeat the embattled GOP nominee in bright-red Alabama. And as he prepares to step down after six terms, Shelby is keeping some distance from Trump. Trump endorsed Brooks in April. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is expected to remain neutral in open-seat primaries, and the winner of the GOP primary will be heavily favored in the conservative state. Shelby declined to take a shot at Brooks, only observing: "Could be an interesting race. We'll have to see how it develops.
"I'd support her, I'd vote for her," he added.
The 87-year-old senator announced in February that he, signaling the end of his tenure in Congress, which has spanned six terms.
In March, Brooks, the six-term congressman from Alabama, announced that at an event alongside Stephen Miller, a longtime adviser to Trump.
Less than a month later, .
Shelby was a reliable Trump vote in the Senate, voting in line with the former president's positions .
He did, however, break ranks last year when he supported former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' unsuccessful comeback bid, and in 2017 when he refused to back Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's special election, who ultimately went on to lose the race.
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Shelby would not take aim at Brooks during his interview with Politico, but did make it clear that he would not try to tip the scale throughout the campaign in favor of his former aide.
"Could be an interesting race. We'll have to see how it develops," Shelby said.
"She's got to run her own campaign, I'm not running her campaign. She's got her own people," he added.
Britt served as Shelby's chief of staff from 2016 and 2018, and was also a press aide for him earlier in her career, according to Politico. Most recently, she was the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.
Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman and former President Trump's ambassador to Slovenia, is also .
Trump could shake up key Senate races with endorsements .
Former President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement in the North Carolina Senate race is the latest sign that he is looking to influence primaries in competitive states, in a shift from recent election cycles. During the 2018 and 2020 elections, Trump often supported Republican incumbents and the eventual GOP nominees in open races. But he rarely […] The post Trump could shake up key Senate races with endorsements appeared first on Roll Call.