By MADDISON BOOTH, Alabama Daily News
AUBURN, Ala. – With just one more day until the runoff election, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Katie Britt and Mo Brooks are focusing on getting their voters to the polls.
Alabama’s May primary election saw a voter turnout of 23%, according to the Secretary of State’s office. For the runoff, John Merrill is expecting voter participation to be even lower, ranging from 10 to 15%.
Official election results show that in the primary, Britt, former Business Council of Alabama leader and chief of staff to retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, led the way with 44.75% and Brooks, a longtime congressman from Huntsville, followed with 29.15%. Recent polls show Britt growing her lead over Brooks since the primary.
Mike Durant fell short of the runoff with 23%. However, his voters could be a game changer on Tuesday.
Both campaign teams are confident that primary voters will return to the polls Tuesday with new views on the race.
“We think a lot of Alabamians who supported Mr. Durant on May 24 are going to vote for Katie on June 21 because people are tired of do-nothing career politicians who serve only themselves,” Sean Ross, a spokesman for Britt’s campaign, said.
Will Hampson, spokesman for the Brooks campaign, said that he has heard from previous Britt supporters that they plan to vote for Brooks in the runoff.
“I think a lot of people are starting to really hone in and realize what’s going on here: That Washington D.C. and the Swamp, the special interest groups, they’re all in for one candidate,” Hampson said.
The winner Tuesday will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd in November.
We enjoyed being in Prattville to share our message and remind everyone to vote this Tuesday!
Alabama’s future is on the ballot, and I’d be honored to earn your vote.
— Katie Britt for AL (@KatieBrittforAL) June 18, 2022
Both campaigns have been relying heavily on their volunteer bases to get their message out statewide.
From door-knocking and phone banks to social media posts, volunteers have been busy championing their candidate’s cause in every Alabama county.
Britt has been on the road meeting voters from the start. Before the primary, she had successfully visited all 67 counties in Alabama and stated that she was on her way to visiting each one twice. She has used the past month to continue on this mission. Her field operations staff has expanded from a team of eight to 18.
Hampson said Brooks’ team is enlisting the help of Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, and members of the House Freedom Caucus for a last minute push. Paul is joining Brooks for a series of public appearances over the weekend.
Britt has garnered a large amount of media attention since Saturday, when former President Donald Trump gave her the endorsement he pulled from Brooks back in March.
What a great day with @RandPaul! I appreciate him coming to Alabama to unequivocally confirm that I am the only conservative in this race. I hope Alabamians will heed his advice and vote Mo Brooks on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/IPjow08LNh
— Mo Brooks (@MoBrooks) June 18, 2022
Brooks has been fighting back by calling Britt a RINO — Republican in name only — and arguing that her campaign is being financially supported by many prominent Washington D.C. figures. The Britt camp disputes this claim saying the vast majority of its fundraising has come from in-state donors.
“Congressman Brooks’ lies have gotten even worse as he has gotten more desperate during this campaign,” Ross said. “We feel like the truth will win on June 21, because Alabama families know Katie is the best candidate to fight for Alabama’s values and Alabama’s people in the U.S. Senate.”
Brooks on the other hand, has recently been hit with an ad claiming “Mo Brooks means Mo taxes.”
“It’s easily refutable,” Hampson said in reference to the accusation. “You look at his record and it’s pretty obvious that there’s zero truth to this.”
The 2022 campaign season in many ways has been defined by attack as, which candidates must work overtime to refute or explain away. Through television and radio ads, mailers and get-out-the-vote efforts, both the Britt and Brooks campaigns are making their final pitches to voters as they prepare to hit the polls on Tuesday and make the final decision for the state’s Republican Senate candidate.