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Taylor drops out of U.S. Senate race, endorses Durant

By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Businesswoman Jessica Taylor dropped out of Alabama’s U.S. Senate race Tuesday and threw her support behind Mike Durant in the Republican primary.

Durant is the founder and president of an aerospace company in Huntsville but might be best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and held prisoner in the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia. He is vying with U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and former Business Council of Alabama President Katie Boyd Britt for the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

“After meeting Mike, I quickly realized he is an outsider with an inspiring life story and has the best shot at beating the establishment careerists. We don’t need another career politician in Washington. We need a pro-Trump conservative with the guts to take on the establishment,” Taylor wrote in a tweet.

Taylor is the owner of a grant-writing business and finished third in the 2020 GOP primary for the 2nd Congressional District, narrowly missing the runoff in that race.

Durant thanked Taylor for her endorsement in a statement released by his campaign.

“For too long, career politicians who have never held a real job in their life have made poor decisions that have left Alabama families behind and put America last. I’m running to change that,” Durant said.

Durant was piloting one of two Black Hawk helicopters shot down by Somali militiamen in 1993 in the capital of Mogadishu.

Shelby, one of the Senate’s most senior members, announced last year that he would not seek reelection in 2022, igniting a messy GOP primary.

The primary is May 24.

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