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Endorsement sets off war of words in Senate race

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Mo Brooks and Katie Britt

An endorsement of Mo Brooks in the 2022 U.S. Senate race by a powerful conservative group led to sparks Monday, with an opponent labeling Brooks as part of the political establishment first elected to the Alabama House in 1982.

Club for Growth PAC, the campaign arm of the Washington, D.C.-based conservative group, announced the endorsement of Brooks in a tweet Monday.

“Mo Brooks has proven to be a strong economic conservative who is unafraid to stand up to Democrats and Republican Leadership to fight for the best interests of the people of Alabama,” the tweet said.

Brooks is among three announced candidates seeking the seat held by Sen. Richard Shelby, who does not plan to seek reelection next year. Katie Britt, Shelby's former chief of staff, resigned as Business Council of Alabama CEO and announced her candidacy last week.

In a Brooks news release Monday night, he began targeting Britt and tying himself to former President Donald Trump.

“In Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, the Establishment, Never Trump, cheap foreign labor, debt junkie, tax and spend wings of the Republican Party are ALL coalescing their big-time money on professional lobbyist Katie Britt,” Brooks said in the release.

Asked to respond to Brooks’ broadside, Britt reiterated her support for the state’s agriculture, military and business interests, which oftentimes aren’t in line with the Club for Growth's vote scorecard.

“Bless his heart, there he goes again with Mo’ lies,” Britt said in a statement. “As a first-time candidate, I’m not surprised that the Washington, D.C., super PACs have decided to back my opponent, who’s been in office since 1982. I have made it clear that I’m going to put Alabama First — and out-of-state special interests have obviously gotten the message.”

Brooks was accused of being anti-Trump during his unsuccessful run for Senate in 2017 due to his previous comments calling Trump a “serial adulterer” and “notorious flip-flopper.” Much has changed since then as the former president in April endorsed Brooks’ candidacy for the current Senate race.

Former Ambassador Lynda Blanchard is the other announced candidate so far in the 2022 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate. The Republican primary is May 24.