Senate candidates Britt, Brooks and Durant deliver messages at Alabama GOP meeting

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Three months before the primary that could decide the next US senator and governor of Alabama, the state’s Republican Party held its winter meeting in Birmingham this morning.

It was an opportunity for Republican Senate candidates Katie Britt, Mo Brooks and Mike Durant to connect with the audience of more than 250 members of the state’s Executive Committee, made up of Republican leaders from each county.

State Republican Party Chairman John Wahl introduced the candidates in alphabetical order, and they took the stage for about 5-10 minutes each. The candidates did not name each other.

Before Britt spoke, she confirmed reports that she and her husband Wesley met former President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida this week, a story that has appeared in newspapers in recent days. . Trump endorsed Brooks in the Senate race.

“We really enjoyed meeting him and had a great conversation,” Britt said.

When asked what they had discussed with the former president, Britt replied that it was a private conversation

“We appreciated the opportunity to talk to him and update him on the race,” Britt said.

During her remarks later from the podium, Britt did not mention her meeting with Trump. She praised Trump for what she said was his strength as commander-in-chief, comparing him to Ronald Reagan. She contrasted that with what she called President Biden’s weakness.

“We saw Reagan preaching peace through force. We have seen Donald Trump practice it. There’s a reason we haven’t had new wars during Trump’s presidency. And it’s because of the strength and the position he’s placed this great nation in,” Britt said.

Brooks, when asked about Britt’s meeting, said Trump remained committed to her endorsement. Brooks said Trump was planning a fundraiser for him at Mar-a-Lago. He questioned whether Britt’s meeting with Trump was substantive.

Related: Brooks says Britt’s campaign is peddling a ‘false narrative’ that Trump dithers on support in Alabama Senate race

Later, speaking from the podium, Brooks read the praise he received from Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and Trump adviser Stephen Miller, an effort to confirm his credentials as a conservative who will fight for Trump’s agenda.

“You’re going to hear a lot of stuff from a lot of candidates in a lot of races,” Brooks said. “The challenge is figuring out which one really means that. The challenge is to understand from these words how this person will behave in public service.

“So instead of relying on my words, I hope you rely on the words of others. I hope you will look in particular at my voting record.

Durant, a former U.S. Army aviator who was shot down and taken prisoner in the incident depicted in the book and movie ‘Black Hawk Down’, has spoken about defending himself from the injuries he sustained while flying army helicopters for six years. He talked about starting a business that grew to 500 employees after retiring from the military, a business he recently sold to his employees.

He showcased his credentials as a proven director from outside the political establishment.

“I’m giving you the careerless politician again, the business owner, the veteran, the option that I think most Americans are looking for,” Durant said. “That’s why President Trump won. That’s why Senator Tuberville won. We are the outsiders. We know what is right for America based on our experiences. We care about this country, we want to make a difference.

After the Senate candidates, three of the Republican gubernatorial candidates addressed the assembly: Lindy Blanchard, Tim James and Dean Young.

The campaign speeches took place at a lunch to wrap up the GOP state meeting at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Campaign signs lined the walls of the banquet hall and hallways, and candidates sat at tables to hand out stickers and flyers.

The State Committee approved three of the four resolutions on the agenda:

  • By an 89% to 11% margin, with 256 members voting, to support a school choice bill in the Alabama Legislature that would give parents some of the school tax money that they could use for the education of their child elsewhere than in the public school where they are zoned.
  • By an 85% to 15% margin, with 265 members voting, to urge Governor Kay Ivey to issue an executive order banning mask mandates in Alabama public schools.
  • By an 86% to 14% margin, with 255 members voting, to support legislation to end the use of the American School Counselors Association’s national model in Alabama public schools, which the resolution, attempts to “indoctrinate” students on issues such as “diversity, equity, and same-sex marriage” without the knowledge of parents.

The committee declined to vote on a resolution calling for the repeal of parts of the medical marijuana law passed by the Legislature last year. A motion to table consideration of this was approved 63% to 37%, with 256 members voting.

A motion for a resolution was not heard.

Governor candidate Young wanted the committee to publicly censure Ivey for what he said broke his promise to use his office to promote Ten Commandments displays after 72% of voters approved a constitutional amendment backing school displays public buildings and other public buildings in 2018.

Related: Candidate Dean Young Says Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Lied About Ten Commandments Pledge

A committee member was at the front of the banquet hall, ready to present Young’s resolution under the new part of the agenda. But there was a sharp call to adjourn before that happened, shortly before noon.

The committee approved the adjournment motion by 53% to 47%.

Young, who said he had fought for 30 years for issues such as the Ten Commandments and school prayer, said the decision to block the censorship resolution raised concerns about what he called the Republican establishment.

“It’s nothing new to me,” Young said. “What’s interesting is what I see in the Republican Party, like this morning. Because the Republican Party is supposed to be a party that believes in God.

Vicki Drummond, the wife of the state’s GOP National Committee, spoke to members about the Republican National Committee’s plans to stop participating in debates organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Drummond said the debate commission did not address the RNC’s concerns about fair moderators and timing. Drummond said the public has reacted favorably to plans to keep Republican candidates out of commission-sponsored debates.

The commission has sponsored every presidential debate since its inception in 1987.

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