Outgoing GOP Senator's campaign cash could rewrite Alabama politics

Outgoing GOP Senator's campaign cash could rewrite Alabama politics

Retiring Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby has millions of dollars in campaign cash that he no longer needs and is considering using it to support a former aide who is running against Donald Trump-endorsed Mo Brooks for the Republican nomination to replace him, Politico reports.

Katie Britt is locked in a three-way battle with the Brooks and Army veteran Mike Durant. Shelby confirmed in an interview he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that Britt emerges from the May primary with a place in a runoff. “I’m going to give it all away sooner or later. I’m going to help her, transfer it to a super PAC,” said Shelby, who has nearly $10 million in his campaign account and more than $6 million in a separate leadership PAC. He added that Britt is “doing well right now. Mo Brooks is dropping, you see that.”

Several PACs are supporting Britt and Shelby reportedly hasn’t decided which one will be the recipient of his largesse. Such a large cash infusion could reshape the race.

Even though he has the GOP-coveted "total and complete endorsement," Brooks recently drew Trump's ire by recently telling an Alabama crowd to move on and not continue to fret about or re-litigate the results of the 2020 election, which the former president will not let go of.

While the Britt and Durant campaigns are ascendent, Brooks is foundering. Top Senate Republicans are divided on how they'd like to see the primary battle resolved. Unless one of the candidates garners 50 percent of the vote in the May primary, there will be a runoff. Eliminating Brooks and leaving the race to Durant and Britt would amount to a “no-lose” proposition for Republicans, according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who serves on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership team.“

People know what [Brooks] was like in the House. And I think there’s a general desire to have people that will be constructive and that we can work with. So that’s my view, and that’s probably the view of most of the conference,” Cornyn said in a not-so-veiled swipe at Brooks.

Brooks’ latest ad refers to McConnell as a “debt junkie” and links him to Britt, whom he calls a “RINO.” He concludes the ad: “That’s why President Trump endorses me, and why Mitch McConnell opposes us.”

Then there's Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who supports Brooks, of whom he said: “I like Mo. I think he’s a good man. He’s a strong conservative. That’s why I endorsed him."

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