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MONTGOMERY, AL — In just a few months, voters will head to the polls to determine the party nominees for the general election in November, and with Sen. Richard Shelby not on the ballot for the first time in nearly four decades, several candidates have stepped up to fill his shoes, including political newcomer Katie Britt.
Britt entered the U.S. Senate race in July, to a mixed reaction from Alabamians, since she left her post as the head of the Alabama Business Council — a job for which she had received rave reviews — to announce her candidacy.
Britt faces a crowded field for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, with Rep. Mo Brooks; businesswoman Karla DuPriest; two former United States Marines — Mike Dunn and Michael Durant — and another political newcomer, Jake Schafer, all vying for the GOP nomination.
Britt, who lives in Montgomery with her husband Wesley and two children, does have some political experience, as she worked on Sen. Shelby's staff before heading back to Alabama to work for the Business Council.
Since announcing her candidacy, Britt has been perhaps the busiest candidate in the state, having already visited all 67 Alabama counties. Patch was able to catch up with Britt along the campaign trail to answer some questions about Alabama's needs, the division in our country, and why she wants to serve in Washington:
First, what motivated you to run for Senate?
Wesley and I prayed about and wrestled with this decision for months before I announced my candidacy in June. God calls us to do hard things, and ultimately we believe that there is too much at stake for our state and our nation to sit on the sidelines.
We remember the country we grew up in, which was not too long ago, but the America in which our two children, Bennett and Ridgeway, are growing up seems worlds and worlds away. It is time for the next generation to stand up and fight to preserve the American Dream and save the country we know and love. That’s why Mamas on a Mission and Dads on Duty are stepping up across the nation to stay ‘enough is enough.’
I was born, raised and went to school in Alabama, and I truly believe in our great state. Alabama deserves a hardworking Senator who will always put hardworking Alabamians first above D.C. special interests and self-promotion. I will be that tireless voice to grow good-paying jobs and opportunity for Alabama families in every corner of our state, regardless of their zip code.
The future and image of Alabama is on the ballot, and we must leave it all on the field. Together, we will win this important election for our children and our children’s children.
What do you feel are the biggest problems facing Alabama today?
Both our state and country are faced with pressing issues that must be tackled head-on. On the national level, President Biden’s weakness is costing and making us less safe abroad, at the southern border and in communities across America, including here at home.
Many of those federal issues directly affect Alabama’s top opportunities and challenges, as well. For example, Alabama has been one of the hardest hit states in the nation by the opioid crisis. If you look at what’s happening with the Biden Administration’s historic border crisis, we saw enough fentanyl being smuggled across the border from Mexico last year to kill every American four times over. That led to more American adults aged 18-45 being killed by fentanyl than COVID, with Alabama seeing a 34.5% year-over-year jump in total overdose deaths. We must seal and secure the southern border, and we must embrace health care policies that encourage non-opioid alternatives.
Another key to Alabama’s future is education. Education is the key to opportunity, which is at the heart of the American Dream, and providing children access to high-quality educational options from an early age is critical to their ability to be successful later in life. This is why I staunchly support Alabama’s voluntary First Class Pre-K program, which has been ranked as the nation’s best for 15 consecutive years. I also believe strongly in school choice, because every single Alabama child deserves the best possible education. We need to cut red tape and bureaucracy in our education system federally, and I am a firm proponent of funding following each individual child.
The jobs of tomorrow require quality education now, and I am dedicated to supporting Alabama’s children from the womb to the workforce.
These are simply a few examples of the several critical issues we must address in Alabama; others include increasing high-speed broadband internet access across our state, improving access to mental health care, and ensuring small and rural businesses can thrive. You can read about more of my platform positions at KatieBrittForSenate.com.
Of all that you learned while on Sen. Shelby's staff, what stands out to you the most?
I learned a lot about the challenges and opportunities facing our state when serving Alabamians. I also learned how to build relationships and utilize the process to get real things done that benefit hardworking Alabama families. We have far too many ineffective career politicians who talk a big game but don’t actually move the needle or deliver for their constituents. I have a proven record of effectively getting things done for Alabama, and that’s what I’ll do as our next Senator.
Our country is more divided politically than it has been in years. What do you feel like needs to be done to bring the country back together?
I think we all need to remember that a lot of the perceived division we see is a result of social media and the national mainstream media’s coverage, which tends to be sensationalist and slanted. Big Tech and corporate media conglomerates profit from echo chambers and division, and I think it’s time to take a hard look at how they’re being regulated. The ties that bind Americans are so much stronger than political rhetoric, and we must put faith and freedom above fear and control.
What makes you different from your opponents in the Republican primary? In essence, why should Alabama voters send you to Washington to represent them?
We have been working nonstop to travel to every community in our state and listen to Alabamians, and I am proud that we already visited all 67 counties as of last month. The momentum on the ground is incredible, and it is clear that people are ready for fresh blood to protect our Christian conservative values and fight to always put Alabama first. They are tired of do-nothing career politicians who only serve themselves. I believe that I am the best candidate to represent Alabama’s values and interests, and I will always work to make our state proud. Together, we will preserve the American Dream and make Alabama an even better place to live, worship, work and raise a family.
The primaries are set for May 24. To register to vote or find your polling location, visit the Secretary of State's website.