Announcement comes less than 3 months after Brooks exhorted pro-Trump crowd to “start kicking ass” prior to Capitol riot
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (CFP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks entered the chase for Alabama’s open U.S. Senate seat Monday with a campaign kickoff where he wrapped himself firmly in the mantle of Donald Trump as he tries to navigate what is likely to become a crowded primary field.
Brooks announced his candidacy at a rally in Huntsville where shared the stage with Stephen Miller — a Trump aide who was the architect of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies — and continued to promote the former president’s unfounded claims of election fraud.
“In 2020, America suffered the worst voter fraud and election theft in history,” Brooks said. “And all Americans would know that if the news media was not suppressing the truth as they’re doing.”
Brooks also noted that he had been endorsed twice by Trump in his congressional campaigns and helped Trump fight what he termed “defamatory, hyper-partisan impeachment scams.”
“As President Trump can vouch, I don’t cut and run,” Brooks said. ” I stand strong when the going gets tough.”
Brooks, 66, has represented Alabama’s 5th U.S. House District, which covers the northern part of the state, since 2011. He made an unsuccessful bid for the state’s other Senate seat in 2017, coming in third in the GOP primary.
The announcement of his latest campaign comes less than three months after Brooks addressed pro-Trump rally in Washington on January 6 in which he told the crowd, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
Members of the crowd later stormed the Capitol, resulting in at least five deaths and more than 400 people facing criminal charges.
Brooks has remained unrepentant and refused to apologize, saying he doesn’t believe there is any relationship between his remarks at the rally and the subsequent riot. However, he is facing at least one lawsuit so far over the speech.
Ironically, when Brooks ran for the Senate in 2017, he was criticized for being insufficiently supportive of Trump because of remarks he made about then-candidate Trump in 2016 after release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump bragged about being sexually aggressive toward women.
Since then, however, Brooks has been one of Trump’s staunchest and most outspoken defenders in Congress and supported Trump’s assertions of voter fraud in the 2020 election, which have been summarily rejected by courts and investigators.
The Senate seat is opening because of the retirement of Republican U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.
Lynda Blanchard, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, is already in the race and, like Brooks, playing up her ties to the former president.
Also considering getting into the Republican primary are Secretary of State John Merrill and Katie Britt, the CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, the lone Democrat in the Yellowhammer State’s congressional delegation, is also considering a run, although the race is likely to be an uphill battle for any Democrat.