Republican voters in Alabama are set Tuesday to decide a Senate primary that has flummoxed former President Donald Trump.
Polls close at 7 pm Central for a runoff between Katie Britt, a former top aide to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Mo Brooks — the top two vote-getters last month in the first round of the primary.
The winner will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd in November in the race to succeed Shelby, who is retiring.
Trump had initially backed Brooks, once a staunch loyalist, but withdrew the endorsement after he dropped in polls. Trump cited Brooks’ desire to “move on” from the 2020 election that he continues to falsely say he won.
Brooks nonetheless advanced to the runoff, and Trump this month endorsed Britt, who like Brooks has embraced his baseless claims of election fraud. A Britt win would be another victory for Trump on a revenge tour that last week brought him a split result in South Carolina after a string of losses in Georgia last month.
The Alabama clash is among several intriguing GOP contests in play Tuesday. In Virginia, Republicans will nominate candidates in the 2nd and 7th congressional districts, both of which are seen as key pickup opportunities. Trump is less of a factor in those primaries, though, as he has not endorsed in either race.
In the Virginia 2nd District, state Sen. Jen Kiggans is seen as the front-runner to take on Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria in the general election. Luria is among the members of the House Jan. 6 committee that has been holding public hearings on the insurrection by Trump supporters at the US Capitol in 2021.
“There was not a single person I talked to or a single door I knocked on where someone wanted to talk about the January 6th commission,” Kiggans told The Washington Post while greeting voters at a polling site Tuesday. “They want to talk about gas prices and grocery prices and the economy, the economy, the economy. They want to know what we’re going to do to lower gas prices, which really affects the price of everything.”
Kiggans, a Navy veteran and nurse practitioner, has led the four-candidate field in fundraising. Others competing in the primary include Tommy Altman, Andy Baan and Jarome Bell.
In the Virginia 7th District, the fight for the nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is a more competitive battle among six candidates. Leading contenders include state Sen. Bryce Reeves, Army Special Forces veteran Derrick Anderson and Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega, who was a leader in a Latino coalition that worked to elect Republican Glenn Youngkin as Virginia’s governor last year.
Also on the ballot Tuesday is a runoff in Georgia’s Democratic primary for secretary of state. State Rep. Bee Nguyen and former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler are competing for the nomination to face Republican incumbent Brad Raffensperger, who won a majority of the vote in last month’s primary despite Trump’s backing of another candidate.
Raffensperger, who drew Trump’s ire by refusing to rig Georgia’s 2020 election results in his favor, testified before the Jan. 6 committee Tuesday.