By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntsville businessman and “Black Hawk Down” veteran Mike Durant announced his campaign for U.S. Senate Tuesday, entering an already crowded Republican primary field.
In a press release, Durant labeled himself as a “pro-Trump conservative Republican” and criticized many of the actions taken by the Biden administration, including the withdrawals of American forces from Afghanistan, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the influx of Central American migrants at the border.
“The career politicians have ruined this country, and their leader Joe Biden is pushing us to the brink,” Durant said in the press release. “Between ridiculous vaccine mandates, trillions in spending and constant assaults on innocent life and the Second Amendment, it’s clear that we need to mobilize people from outside of politics to step forward and serve.”
Durant was a member of the U.S. Army’s 1993 Operation Gothic Serpent mission in Mogadishu, Somalia that was made famous by the movie “Black Hawk Down.” Durant was flying the helicopter that was shot down and survived after being captured by Somali forces.
After retiring from the Army, Durant started Pinnacle Solutions, an engineering and services company based in Huntsville.
In a campaign video released along with the announcement, Durant emphasizes his military background, experience as a businessman and devotion to his Christian faith.
Durant and his wife, Lisa, live in Madison and have six children and three grandchildren.
Durant joins the Senate race relatively late compared to the five other candidates who announced their campaigns months ago.
Katie Boyd Britt has shown to have the biggest fundraising prowess out of all the Republican candidates so far, with her most recent campaign filings showing her to have raised a total of $3.76 million for her campaign and holding $3.3 million cash on hand. Former Ambassador Lynda Blanchard has the most cash on hand after loaning her campaign $5 million of personal funds in the spring.
Congressman Mo Brooks has $1.79 million and businesswoman Jessica Taylor reported raising $150,848.
Brooks is the Trump-backed candidate and an August Alabama Daily News poll showed him leading in support from Republican voters, though Britt had room to gain significant ground.
Former Brighton Mayor Brandaun Dean is the only Democratic candidate who has announced their candidacy so far.
The Republican primary is May 24.