- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks on Wednesday in what is expected to be a heated GOP primary to replace retiring Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. 

“Few Republicans have as much courage and fight as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks,” the former president said in a statement. “Mo is a great Conservative Republican leader, who will stand up for America First no matter what obstacles the Fake News Media, RINOs, or Socialist Democrats may place in his path.”

Mr. Trump’s endorsement comes shortly after Mr. Brooks, who has represented northern Alabama in the U.S. House since 2011, announced his candidacy.

The 2022 race is Mr. Brooks’ second attempt to snag a seat in the Senate. The congressman initially ran in the 2017 special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who left the Senate to become Mr. Trump’s first attorney general.

In that contest, Mr. Brooks came in third behind former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and then-GOP Sen. Luther Strange, who had been appointed to the seat in the wake of Mr. Sessions’ departure. Mr. Moore went on to defeat Mr. Strange in the primary run-off, but wound up losing the general election after being damaged by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Since losing the 2017 race, Mr. Brooks has emerged as a strong ally of Mr. Trump. The relationship, in particular, was put on display in the aftermath of last year’s closely contested presidential race. 

Alleging that the widespread use of mail-in ballots during the election was unconstitutional and contributed to voter fraud, Mr. Brooks fought vehemently against having the results certified. 

The congressman’s stance led him to speak to a rally of Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — just as the Electoral College was meeting to officially declare President Biden the victor. 

Mr. Brooks drew criticism for imploring the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass,” especially after those in attendance proceeded to demonstrate at the Capitol. 

The congressman has refused to apologize for his remarks. Mr. Brooks’ no-holds-barred political style, though, has only endeared him to Mr. Trump and Republicans.

Mo Brooks has my complete and total endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the great State of Alabama,” the former president said on Wednesday. “He will never let you down!” 

The endorsement is not surprising given that several former high-level White House aides of the former president, including Stephen Miller, have lined up behind Mr. Brooks

Mr. Trump’s backing, though, does solidify the congressman’s status as the Senate race’s front-runner. It also deals a blow to Lynda Blanchard, a former Trump-era ambassador to Slovenia, who is also vying for the GOP nomination. 

Despite losing out on the endorsement, Mrs. Blanchard is expected to continue her quest for the seat. A heated and contentious primary is expected to play out. 

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