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Britt gives fiery speech for Cheaha Republican Women

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Katie Britt, who is running for the U.S. Senate, spoke at the Cheaha Republican Women’s meeting Wednesday at Classic on Noble. She is one of several candidates who circulated among the attendees in anticipation of the May 24 primary elections.

With the tone of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt spoke to a meeting of Cheaha Republican Women in Anniston on Wednesday.

A Republican from Coffee County, Britt, 40, hammered on the issues that are defining the conservative movement in the state. Throughout her speech, some endorsed her words with a round of clapping and an occasional shout.

“We will never leave a soldier on the battlefield,” she said, her voice rising and falling in volume. “We must treat our veterans like the first class citizen that they are.”

Britt told a crowd of more than 100 at Classic on Noble restaurant in downtown Anniston how she was raised in the Wiregrass community near Dothan. She grew up near Fort Rucker, which made her aware of the sacrifices of soldiers and their children who were in her school classes.

“Freedom is not free,” she said with an animated gesture of her hand. “Some parents are gone for months on end, and some never returned home.”

She decided to run, she said, after talking to her son and daughter, who are in the sixth and seventh grades, and to her husband. “We are busy with kids, and we prayed about this. I wanted to stay comfortable,” she said. “My daughter said, ‘You gotta do this. We need you in the U.S. Senate.’”

The mostly mask-less group, even during the state’s drastic rise in the COVID-19 virus, included many statewide and local candidates, including Marie Manning of St. Clair County, who is running for the State Board of Education; John Hammock of Tallassee, who is running for the Public Service Commission; Keith Kelley and Wendy Draper, both of whom are running for the District 12 Alabama Senate seat; Katie Exum and Julie Borrelli, both of whom are running for District 40 Alabama House of Representatives seat; and others who were mingling with members of the local members of the women’s group.

Britt spoke heatedly against President Joe Biden and described him as weak and failing. She blamed him for eliminating former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program for Hispanics seeking asylum.

“We need to finish the wall and put an end to illegal immigration,” Britt said. “It’s a humanitarian crisis there, the trafficking of men, women and children. There is Fentanyl coming across the Mexican border from China. We need to wake up.”

In her speech, she said the U.S. government should be tough on China for undermining the efforts of the American worker. She agreed that the soldiers in Afghanistan should have been brought home, but she disagreed with the way it was handled. She said Biden had bended the nation’s knee to the Taliban, and his policy had undermined the U.S.’s credibility and emboldened its enemies.

Britt told the crowd she wanted to address the mental-health crisis in the nation and create more broadband access to the internet. She added that inflation, workforce issues and paying people to stay at home were un-American.

“We must work hard,” Britt said, “and roll our sleeves up.”

After the meeting, the St. Clair County candidate, Manning, said she came to Anniston to be with other good Republicans and meet people she did not know.

“I will be coming back next month to speak at the invitation of Cynthia McCarty, a current state board member who is not running,” Manning said.

Borelli said she wanted to hear Britt speak. Currently, she is the finance director for Anniston, an attorney and a retired marine.

“I think it is important that we know more about the candidates,” she said, “than only seeing their signs.”