A longtime aide to retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby is entering the race to replace him in what’s shaping up to be a GOP primary slugfest at a time when the national Republican Party is trying to chart a direction after President Donald Trump’s departure.
Katie Boyd Britt, the former president of the Business Council of Alabama and Shelby’s former chief of staff, filed federal paperwork Thursday to run for the seat in the 2022 election. While she has not announced a run, it has been long speculated that she would.
Shelby announced in February at the age of 86 that he would not seek a seventh term.
The GOP primary could serve as a microcosm of the larger national tug of war over the direction of the Republican Party. While Shelby has amassed a conservative voting record, the measured Republican senator has not embraced the bombastic populist style of some GOP candidates.
Two Republicans are already in the race: Congressman Mo Brooks, who is armed with an endorsement from Trump, and Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman who was Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia.
Brooks, 66, has come under fire for telling attendees at a Jan. 6 rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot that it was time to “start taking down names and kicking ass.” Brooks said the phrase was intended to fire up the crowd for the next election cycle and is being misconstrued as advocating the violence that followed.
Britt resigned from the Business Council of Alabama on Friday. In a statement, the council said she was leaving to pursue other opportunities.
In her own statement, Britt said that she considered one of her greatest achievements to have been “bringing the previously forgotten back into the fold — our small businesses on Main Street, and the rural businesses and industry that are the heartbeats of local communities in every corner of our great state.”
Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.