GOP Rep. Brooks enters Alabama Senate race

GOP Rep. Brooks enters Alabama Senate race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksRepublican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Trump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race MORE (R-Ala.) is jumping into the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat, setting up a primary battle with the GOP’s pick for the seat.

Brooks will officially announce his candidacy Monday during a speech in Huntsville before barnstorming the state with events in Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.

“I am running for the United States Senate because America’s status as the greatest nation in world history is at risk, because Congress is failing the American people by not rising to the challenges America faces, and because I am the only candidate for the Senate who has a record of proven conservative leadership,” he said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brooks, an outspoken member of Congress who has been active in state politics since the 1980s, won his House seat in the 2010 GOP wave. 

Brooks will face off in the Aug. 15 primary with Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the former state attorney general appointed to the seat by then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R) earlier this year.

Strange got the seat after Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama postpones March 31 GOP Senate runoff Biden has broken all the 'rules' of presidential primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Defiant Sanders vows to stay in race MORE vacated it to become President Trump’s attorney general. The GOP establishment has made it clear that Strange will have the party’s full backing.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has confirmed it will be treating Strange as an incumbent, giving him strong reinforcements out of Washington. The move causes complications for his opponents, since the NRSC doesn’t work with vendors that take clients challenging its incumbents. 

And the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: White House projects grim death toll from coronavirus | Trump warns of 'painful' weeks ahead | US surpasses China in official virus deaths | CDC says 25 percent of cases never show symptoms 14 things to know for today about coronavirus Trump says he wouldn't have acted differently on coronavirus without impeachment MORE (R-Ky.), last week announced a $2.6 million television buy to boost Strange’s bid.

But Strange could face pushback from opponents in the state because of his appointment. Bentley has since resigned due to a growing sex scandal. 

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who was suspended for encouraging lower courts to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, is also running in the Republican primary. A handful of other prominent local Republicans are considering bids, including state Sen. Del Marsh, one of the top Republicans in the state Senate. 

The August primary is expected to serve as the de facto election, given the GOP’s dominance in the state. The general election is in December.

Whoever is elected will win the right to finish out Sessions’s term, which expires in 2020.