Katie Britt Holds Alabama Senate Seat for GOP, Ivey Reelected Gov (Newsmax)
By Jack Gournell | Tuesday, 08 November 2022 09:15 PM EST
Republican Katie Britt became the first woman elected to the U.S Senate from Alabama on Tuesday as she captured the seat opened by the retirement of GOP Sen. Richard Shelby. Britt is a former member of Shelby's congressional staff.
Newsmax called the race as soon as the polls closed in Alabama at 7 p.m. CST.
"Alabama First. That wasn't a campaign slogan, that was a promise," Britt told supporters at a victory rally Tuesday night. "God calls us to do hard things," she added, reminding them of what she said in the campaign, and vowing to keep up the fight once in the Senate.
She thanked Shelby for giving her a job 20 years ago and said that though she will be "filling his seat, I don't think his shoes will ever fit."
Britt faced Democratic nominee Will Boyd and Libertarian John Sophocleus.
Shelby, 88, is retiring after serving six terms in the U.S. Senate. Britt is Shelby’s former chief of staff and the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama, a business lobby. Britt becomes the first woman to win election to the U.S. Senate from Alabama and will be the first Republican woman to hold one of the state’s Senate seats. The state’s previous female senators, both Democrats, had been appointed.
Incumbent Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also easily won reelection to a second full term after rising to the position from lieutenant governor upon the resignation of former Gov. Robert Bentley.
Ively defeated Democrat Yolanda Flowers, the first Black woman to win a major party’s gubernatorial nomination in the state, after surviving both a health scare and multiple Republican challengers in the primary.
Smiling broadly and wearing a bright red jacket, Ivey took the stage before a huge American flag and waved to cheering supporters at a campaign celebration held at a restaurant in Montgomery.
“Y'all, we did it!” she exclaimed.
While Flowers’ candidacy was an interesting historical footnote, it posed no real threat to the GOP’s control of all three branches of government in a majority white, conservative state where voting patterns typically break down by skin color. Flowers closed her campaign with days of fasting and a lengthy prayer shown on Facebook.
Libertarian Jimmy Blake, a former Birmingham City Council member, also was on the ballot.
Ivey, who turned 78 in October, avoided a runoff in the spring despite facing a slate that included eight Republican challengers who forced her to the right. Ivey repeated former President Donald Trump’s lies about election theft and aired a campaign commercial in which she pulled a pistol out of her purse.
Following the primary, Ivey — who was diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer in 2019 and later said the disease was gone — was faced with questions about her health after she disappeared from public view for almost three weeks during the summer. She refused to say whether she underwent any medical treatment.
While Ivey’s absence made headlines, any doubts or concerns about her health didn't have any effect on her chances of victory. At her party, a jubilant Ivey thanked voters.
"Folks, there’s no doubt that the best is yet to come because we all know there’s no step too high for a high stepper,” said Ivey, repeating a campaign mantra.
In her re-election bid, Ivey mostly ignored her opponents and instead touted the state’s low unemployment rate and opposition to the policies of Democratic President Joe Biden. She had a campaign bank balance of more than $200,000 at the end of September compared to just $546 for Flowers, records showed.
Ivey first became governor in April 2017, when she was elevated from the office of lieutenant governor following the resignation of Robert Bentley, who quit in a plea agreement following a scandal over his relationship with a female staffer. Ivey defeated an experienced, well-known Democratic challenger, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, by 20 percentage points in 2018 to claim her first full term.