By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Republican Katie Britt has won the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, becoming the first woman elected to the body from the state.
Britt will fill the seat held by Richard Shelby, her one-time boss who is retiring after 35 years in the Senate. Britt was Shelby’s chief of staff before leaving to take the helm of a state business lobby. Britt defeated Democrat Will Boyd and Libertarian John Sophocleus.
Britt, 40, cast herself as part of a new generation of conservative leaders and will become one of the Senate’s youngest members. She will be the first Republican woman to hold one of the state’s Senate seats. The state’s previous female senators, both Democrats, had been appointed.
Fueled by deep pockets and deep ties to business and political leaders, Britt secured the GOP nomination after a heated and expensive primary. She was first in the initial round of voting and then defeated six-term Rep. Mo Brooks in an expensive primary runoff.
Brooks, who ran under the banner “MAGA Mo” — Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan — and was initially endorsed by the former president, had been an early favorite in the race. But Brooks faltered under a barrage of attack ads and lackluster fundraising. As Britt surged in the polls, Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks and swung his support to Britt.