On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate candidate declared the endorsement of Mark Pettitt, identified as an “Alabama Strike Force member” and “a beneficiary” of Brooks’ help.
That piece of information was withheld during the announcement at Hoover Tactical Firearms.
On Thursday, Pettit defended omitting his title in an interview with AL.com: “We don’t like to mix official office with campaigns. … What I do on my day job is supposed to be independent of what I do on my campaign time.”
“I didn’t want to use [my title as chief of staff] because it’s using an official title for political gain, and I didn’t think that was appropriate,” Pettitt added.
“I intentionally left it off even though it would have been stronger not to do so,” he said, a reference to criticism of Brooks’ lack of support for President Donald Trump.
Brooks has been trading barbs with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, in the 9-person field in the heated midsummer battle for who will serve the rest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate term.
Other Republican candidates include former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Dr. James Beretta, Joseph Breault, Alabama Christian Coalition president Randy Brinson, Mary Maxwell, Bryan Peeples and state Sen. Trip Pittman of Baldwin County.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary is Thursday, Aug. 10. If there is no primary winner — with 50 percent plus one — in the Aug. 15 primary, a runoff is Sept. 26; the general election is Dec. 12.