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Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySEC removes Republican watchdog after progressive lobbying effort Biden releases T budget that foresees decade of trillion-dollar deficits Drama scrambles Schumer’s China bill MORE (R-Ala.) says he will support his former chief of staff Katie Boyd Britt in the race to succeed him in the Senate, opting to not back former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer House Republican to challenge DeWine for Ohio gubernatorial nomination GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Overnight Defense: Austin directs classified initiatives to counter China | Biden emphasizes alliances in speech to troops | Lockdown lifted at Texas base after reported shooting MORE’s endorsed candidate, Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksGOP lawmaker deletes tweet that appeared to mistakenly reveal email password The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden, Harris take US goals abroad Mo Brooks served with Swalwell lawsuit MORE (R-Ala.).

Shelby’s office confirmed to The Hill that the senator said he will throw his support behind Britt, who officially announced her candidacy on Tuesday, following an interview he gave to Politico.

“She’s like family. She’d make a good candidate. She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time,” Shelby told the news outlet.

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“I’d support her, I’d vote for her,” he added.

The 87-year-old senator announced in February that he would not run for reelection in 2022, signaling the end of his tenure in Congress, which has spanned six terms.

In March, Brooks, the six-term congressman from Alabama, announced that he would run for Shelby’s seat at an event alongside Stephen MillerStephen MillerPro-Trump group presses Biden officials for records on critical race theory The Memo: Biden feels the heat from all sides on immigration USDA to start loan forgiveness for thousands of farmers of color in June MORE, a longtime adviser to Trump.

Less than a month later, Trump endorsed Brooks.

Shelby was a reliable Trump vote in the Senate, voting in line with the former president’s positions 90.7 percent of the time.

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He did, however, break ranks last year when he supported former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDemocrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies CNN reporter’s phone and email records secretly obtained by Trump administration: report Biden looks to expand legal assistance for minorities, low-income Americans MORE’ unsuccessful comeback bid, and in 2017 when he refused to back Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreOf inmates and asylums: Today’s House Republicans make the John Birchers look quaint The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden assails ‘epidemic’ of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE in Alabama’s special election, who ultimately went on to lose the race.

Shelby would not take aim at Brooks during his interview with Politico, but did make it clear that he would not try to tip the scale throughout the campaign in favor of his former aide.

“Could be an interesting race. We’ll have to see how it develops,” Shelby said.

“She’s got to run her own campaign, I’m not running her campaign. She’s got her own people,” he added.

Britt served as Shelby’s chief of staff from 2016 and 2018, and was also a press aide for him earlier in her career, according to Politico. Most recently, she was the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.

Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman and former President Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, is also vying for the Republican nomination.

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