Republican Rep. Mo Brooks on Saturday called on his supporters to rebuke the GOP establishment and vote for former Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary runoff.
“I have voted for Roy Moore because Roy Moore not only stands with America, he will fight for America! I urge you to join that fight,” he told a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Defend Roy Moore’s reputation and character from the nonstop, malicious lie of the Strange/McConnell forces,” he continued, referring to Moore’s runoff opponent, appointed Sen. Luther Strange, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Brooks, the local congressman in northern Alabama and a member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, picked up roughly 20 percent of the vote in the first round of the Republican primary, which left him in third place and on the outside looking in for the runoff.
Strange, who was appointed to the Senate seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general, has the backing of McConnell and his political allies.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Business Council of Alabama, is up with ads during both the Auburn and Alabama college football games Saturday, in support of Strange.
“This Senate race is down to this: we are in an epic battle between the people of Alabama who put America First and the Washington Swamp that hopes to buy Alabama’s Senate seat and put America Second,” Brooks said in a statement, announcing his endorsement. “All of America is watching Alabama to see who wins.”
A Moore victory in the runoff could bring some hope for the Democratic nominee, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones. That prospect, which is looking increasingly likely going by recent polls, prompted Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales to change the race rating from Solid Republican to Likely Republican.
Brooks, however, said it was the Republican establishment who was putting the Alabama Senate seat at risk.
“The Strange/ McConnell forces care not one twit about truth; they freely use malicious lies in their non-stop, scorched earth, campaign of personal destruction,” he said. “To be clear, the Strange/McConnell campaign tactics betray all Republicans … by helping Democrats win this Senate seat.”
The last Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Alabama was Sen. Richard C. Shelby in 1992. He switched to the GOP two years later.
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.