MONTGOMERY, Ala. ( Associated Press) — Katie Britt won the Republican Senate bid in Alabama on Tuesday, defeating veteran Rep. Mo Brooks in a primary after former President Donald Trump’s unusual decision to rescind her endorsement. Initials for Brooks.
The loss ended a rocky campaign that pitted Brooks, a belligerent conservative who has spent more than a decade in Congress, against someone who had never held elected office. Brooks ran under the slogan “Maga Mo” (a reference to Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan) and fully embraced Trump’s lies about the election.
But that was not enough for the former president. Trump initially backed Brooks in the race to replace Britt’s old boss, Sen. Richard Shelby, but withdrew his support after Brooks was left behind in the election.
The vote was one of the votes held on Tuesday in the middle of a primary session marked by Trump’s efforts to shape the Republican Party.
The former president has had mixed success in the primary. He has helped senatorial candidates in Pennsylvania and Ohio and failed elsewhere, particularly Georgia.
Voters, once a Republican stronghold, rejected his efforts to oust the Republican governor and secretary of state, who did not give in to his extraordinary pressure to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. And his troubles on the crucial battlefield escalated when two of the candidates he backed for Congress on Tuesday failed in their respective primaries.
In the 6th Ward, in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, ER doctor Rich McCormick defeated Jake Evans, a Trump-backed attorney. And in the 10th district east of Atlanta, trucking company owner Mike Collins defeated Democrat-turned-Republican Vernon Jones.
Trump convinced Jones to abandon his unlikely gubernatorial campaign to run for the job and make room for his favorite candidate, former Sen. David Perdue. Perdue lost to Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who supported Collins. The seat was vacant after the departure of Representative Jody Hiss, who failed to defeat another Trump target, Republican Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state.
Meanwhile, in Washington DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination for another term, beating a pair of rivals amid concerns about rising crime and homelessness.
The fight for the seat of Alabama’s senator had drawn particular attention because of controversy surrounding Trump’s endorsement and because the winner, who will face Democrat Will Boyd in November, is considered the overwhelming favorite in the Republican state.
Britt, 40, casts herself as part of a new generation of Conservative leaders and denigrates Brooks, 68, as a career politician. If she wins in November, Britt will be the first woman in Alabama to be elected to the US Senate and one of its youngest members. The state’s previous senators were appointed.
Also on Tuesday, Republicans in Virginia picked two Trump-friendly candidates for Congress, who will face two of the weakest Democrats in the fall.
In the second district, on the waterfront, State Sen. Jane Keegans won the Republican race to try to oust Democrat Ellen Luria, a retired Navy commander and member of the commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol in the general election.
And in the 7th District, in the center of the state, Yesli Vega won a competitive vote with six candidates to face Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger.
In Tuesday’s polls in Virginia Beach, Nancy Eves, 70, said she voted for Keegans partly because she believed she was the best candidate to win in November.
“We need someone who can beat Ellen Luria,” said Eves, a retired nurse in Virginia Beach.
Colvin reported from Washington. Ben Finlay in Virginia Beach, Virginia contributed to this report.