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U.S. Chamber endorses Jerry Carl in AL-1

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today endorsed Jerry Carl in the race for Congress in Alabama’s 1st District.

Carl, who currently serves as Mobile County Commissioner, is facing former State Sen. Bill Hightower in the GOP runoff for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business organization and its political arm lobbies for business-friendly policies on issues like taxes, health care, regulations and trade.

In endorsing Carl, Chamber CEO Tom Donohue said it’s important to have leaders who “understand the genius of the American system of government and free enterprise and who are willing to tackle the hard problems that confront our nation.”

“As our nation faces many challenges and is collectively working to not just reopen our economy but return to growth and expanded opportunities for all Americans, we need leaders like Jerry Carl. He has a proven track record of leading responsibly and standing up for good policies,” Donohue said. “The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse Jerry and looks forward to partnering with him in the future.”

The AL-1 race has evolved into a battle between the activist and business wings of the Republican Party. The Business Council of Alabama, Alabama Farmers Federation and Byrne himself are backing Carl, while the conservative flame Club for Growth is backing Hightower. The Washington-based Club is expected to spend more than $1 million on the race for ads supporting Hightower and attacking Carl.

In its endorsement, the Chamber did not discuss its plans to campaign on behalf of Carl. The group is known for aggressively supporting its endorsed candidates with independent television, radio and mail advertising.

The latest polling in the race conducted by a super PAC supporting Carl showed him leading Hightower in a runoff ballot test 43% to 24% with 33% remaining undecided.

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