HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—Alabama’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate will come down to a runoff on June 21 after neither of the two top candidates, Katie Britt and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, grabbed a majority of the vote.
With 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties reporting, Britt had 45 percent of the vote to Brooks’s 29 percent. A third candidate, Michael Durant had 23 percent.
Britt, the former CEO of Business Council of Alabama and onetime chief of staff to retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, ran on a traditional conservative platform that supported fighting big tech companies. Although Britt’s campaign site doesn’t mention former President Donald Trump, she has agreed with his claims that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election.
“It is clear tonight that Alabamians want new blood,” she said. “They want someone to go to Washington, D.C., and shake it up. It is clear that they want a true Christian conservative Republican who will lead on the America first agenda and doesn’t just talk about it but knows how to actually get something done.”
Brooks celebrated that his campaign is continuing, and urged his supporters to continue their efforts.
“Two months ago, the experts declared our campaign was dead in the water,” he told a crowd of supporters in Huntsville. “Today, just call me Lazarus, resurrected by Alabama citizens who figured out who the real MAGA conservative is.”
In his speech, he thanked his family and the other candidates that ran in the election, and praised Durant, while criticizing Britt for attack ads.
“In particular, I applaud Mike Durant, who honorably served in America’s military, helped build Pinnacle Solutions, creating hundreds of jobs for Alabama citizens, and who was dishonestly and unfairly hammered by countless negative attack ads crafted by the Mitch McConnell–Katie Britt team,” he said.
Alabama is an extremely conservative state, which means the GOP nominee is likely to win the general election.
In his speech, Brooks said he wasn’t concerned that Trump rescinded his endorsement. However, losing the endorsement caused a strategic shift, according to several people who worked on Brooks’s campaign.
“That’s the classic Mo Brooks race,” said Stan McDonald, Brooks’s campaign co-chairman. “The professional donor base versus the volunteer voter base. And Mo really knows how to appeal to that volunteer voter base.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.