Trump's Slovenia Ambassador Lynda Blanchard jumps into Alabama Senate race

Trump's Slovenia Ambassador Lynda Blanchard jumps into Alabama Senate race
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Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman and former President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE’s ambassador to Slovenia, announced Thursday she will run next year for the Alabama Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress | Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations Senate panel advances first three spending bills Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate MORE (R).

Blanchard is the first Republican to officially jump into what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary in the race to fill the solidly red seat that Shelby has held since 1987. In a nearly three-minute-long video announcing her campaign, Blanchard cast herself as an outsider and fierce defender of former President Trump.

“I’m a Christian conservative and business builder, a mother of eight wonderful children. I’m a proud member of the MAGA movement. Like you, I’m grateful for the leadership and courage of our 45th president, Donald Trump,” she said over video of her driving a truck emblazoned with a Trump campaign sticker. “Today, I begin a new journey: a bid to earn your trust and your vote to serve as the next United States senator from our great state.”

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Blanchard added that she “never thought about serving in public office” until Trump asked her to be his ambassador to Slovenia, which she called "an important post in a beautiful country that was once Melania's home," and that she “leapt at the opportunity to fight for the America first agenda.”

“That lit a fire in me to continue the cause as a public champion for the values we hold near and dear. Free speech, the right to bear arms, religious freedom, the sanctity of life for all of God’s children, born and unborn, lower taxes, a secure border, the belief that America is the greatest nation that the world has ever known. Those ideas seem like common sense to me and you because we’re from Alabama,” she said. 

Blanchard vowed to fight against Democrats in Washington, name checking President BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE, Senate Majority Charles SchumerChuck SchumerYouth organizations call on Biden to ensure 'bold' climate investments New York Times calls on Cuomo to resign 'The Squad' celebrates Biden eviction moratorium MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLiz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party 19 House Democrats call on Capitol physician to mandate vaccines Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and "The Squad,” a quartet of progressive female lawmakers in the House, all of whom she accused of trying to reverse Trump’s accomplishments.

“If you’re sick of career politicians, insiders and swamp creatures that stand for socialism or cheerlead censorship, then I’m asking for your vote to stand strong for Alabama by sending a true outsider to the Senate,” she said.

The red-meat-filled video previews the kind of arguments Republicans are anticipated to put forth in the likely unwieldy 2022 GOP primary race, the victor of which will be the heavy favorite to win the general election.

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Trump won Alabama by more than 35 points in both 2016 and 2020, and he remains wildly popular in the Yellowhammer State. Touting his support will likely be key in locking up the Republican nomination, and candidates are expected to clamor for his endorsement.

Among the Republicans who have publicly expressed interest in the seat are Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksBrooks pushes for immunity from Swalwell suit over January 6 Bad week in Trumpland signals hope for American democracy Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy MORE, a firebrand who helped lead the push to overturn the presidential election results; Katie Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff and president of the Business Council of Alabama; and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. Several others, including Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneTrump's Slovenia Ambassador Lynda Blanchard jumps into Alabama Senate race Mo Brooks expresses interest in running for Shelby's Senate seat Ex-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm MORE, are considered potential candidates.

Democrats will face a steep uphill battle in the race to replace Shelby. The state party panned Blanchard after her announcement, highlighting her contributions to Trump’s campaign.

“Lynda Blanchard sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump in exchange for a fancy ambassadorship in Europe,” the Alabama Democratic Party tweeted. “Lynda won’t fight the swamp, she IS the swamp.”