Retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby is spending $5 million to boost his former chief of staff over former Trump’s endorsed senate candidate

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Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on June 08, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on June 08, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

  • Sen. Richard Shelby will give $5 million in leftover campaign cash to a super PAC backing Katie Boyd Britt.

  • Britt, who’s running for Senate against Rep. Mo Brooks, is the retiring senator’s former chief of staff.

  • Former President Trump is backing Brooks in the Republican primary, teeing up an intra-party fight.

Retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama plans to spend $5 million in leftover campaign cash on a super PAC supporting Republican Senate candidate Katie Boyd Britt – who’s running in a primary against Trump-backed Rep. Mo Brooks – according to a Thursday report in the Washington Post that cited two people “familiar with the conversations.”

“The Senator’s support for Katie is well known,” spokeswoman Blaire Taylor told the Post. “He will continue to back her as the race develops in whatever ways are most appropriate, as he believes she is the best candidate to serve the people of Alabama.” Britt, the former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama who’s running as a pro-business Republican, previously served as Shelby’s chief of staff in the US Senate.

Shelby is retiring next year after first winning his Senate seat in 1986 as a conservative Democrat, later switching parties following a Republican wave election in 1994. The senator has $16.2 million is campaign cash left to spend, including $9.7 million in his campaign account and another $6.5 million in a separate leadership PAC.

Shelby’s spending puts him at odds with former President Donald Trump, who’s backing Brooks. “Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT,” Trump said when he endorsed the Alabama congressman in April.

Brooks has been a prominent disseminator of falsehoods about the 2020 election, and he spoke on the ellipse with former President Trump on January 6, the day of the storming of the US Capitol. “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks told the former president’s supporters in a speech that day.

And in August, when a man shut down the Capitol complex with a bomb threat, Brooks issued a statement apparently expressing sympathy with the man’s “anger directed at dictatorial Socialism.”

“I entered this race after factoring in that Richard Shelby would probably put millions in on Katie Britt’s behalf,” Brooks told the Post when asked about Shelby’s plans. “They are hand in glove.”

While next year’s general election is not expected to be competitive, Alabama has been the site of numerous high-profile intra-party fights in recent years. In 2017, former President Trump backed Luther Strange, who ultimately lost his primary to Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court who was credibly accused of sexual misconduct against several minors.

And last year, Trump endorsed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over his own former Attorney General and the state’s long-time junior senator, Jeff Sessions, who went on to lose to Tuberville in that year’s primary election.

Read the original article on Business Insider





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