The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

2 days ago

Republican Leigh Hulsey endorsed by Alabama Farmers Federation in HD 73

(Leigh Hulsey for State House District 73/Facebook, YHN)

The Alabama Farmers Federation on Friday announced its endorsement of Republican Leigh Hulsey in House District 73.

Hulsey is currently in a special primary runoff election against Kenneth Paschal.

The seat was vacated by former Rep. Matt Fridy’s (R-Montevallo) election to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. HD 73 represents portions of Shelby County, including Alabaster, Helena, Pelham and Montevallo.

“Leigh Hulsey is a business leader who understands the needs of the people of this district,” stated John DeLoach, Shelby County Farmers Federation president. “She is a conservative who will work hard representing the needs of our district in the Legislature.”

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Hulsey graduated from Pelham High School and received her bachelor of science from Auburn University in Human Development and Family Studies. She currently serves as president pro tempore of the Helena City Council. Hulsey has also been a small business owner and operator of CrossFit Alabaster for nine years.

“I am humbled and honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation and look forward to serving them and all the people of House District 73 in the Alabama Legislature,” Hulsey commented.

Hulsey and her husband, Dennis, have three children and are members of Church of the Highlands.

The special primary runoff is slated for April 27.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 days ago

Sarah Huckabee Sanders holding Birmingham fundraiser on April 14

(Sarah Huckabee Sanders/Facebook, YHN)

Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders will hold a fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday, April 14.

Sanders, a Republican, served as press secretary to then-President Donald J. Trump from July 2017 until July 2019. Trump has endorsed her campaign.

Also the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Sanders recently penned the best-selling book, “Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House.”

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Her Birmingham fundraiser next week will be hosted at The Club, with multiple donation levels from $500 person to $5,600 per person being available.

In her campaign announcement video, Sanders earnestly recounted her time serving the former president and explained that she has “been tested under fire, successfully managing one crisis after another” in what she described as “one of the most difficult, high-pressure jobs in all of government.”

“I took on the media, the radical left and their cancel culture, and I won,” she said.

An invitation for the event can be accessed here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Former U.S. Rep. Martha Roby named senior advisor at Alabama-based firm

(Bradley/Contributed)

Birmingham-based Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP on Thursday announced the addition of former U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) as a senior advisor in the national law firm’s Governmental Affairs and Economic Development practice groups.

A release stressed that Roby will provide governmental affairs — but not legal — services for clients. Bradley’s office footprint includes Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville and Washington, D.C. locations.

Roby, a Republican, served in Congress from 2011 to 2021. Early in her tenure, she served on committees with respective jurisdictions over Agriculture, Armed Services, and Education and Workforce. She also served as the chairman of Armed Services’ Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations during the 113th Congress and was the ranking member of Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet for the 116th Congress.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Martha as a senior advisor for governmental affairs and economic development,” stated Jonathan Skeeters, Bradley’s chairman of the board and managing partner.

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During her congressional tenure, Roby also became the first ever representative from Alabama’s Second Congressional District to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, on which she ultimately served on six of the 12 subcommittees: Defense; Labor, Education, Health and Human Services; Commerce, Justice and Science; State and Foreign Operations; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; and Legislative Branch.

Before being elected to Congress, she was in private practice in Montgomery and then served on the Montgomery City Council from 2003 until 2010. Roby received her J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and a B.M. in Music Business from New York University.

“Martha has a decade of service as a member of Congress and service on the Montgomery City Council, as well as a background in private legal practice,” added Skeeters. “She brings tremendous experience to our firm and will be able to help advance the interests of our clients in Alabama and across the country.”

While serving in Washington, D.C., Roby sponsored or cosponsored more than 500 bills. Among her accomplishments, she continually led efforts to stop devastating cuts that threatened military readiness.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Martha since her election to Congress in 2010,” commented David Stewart, Bradley’s Governmental Affairs practice group leader. “During her service in Congress, she distinguished herself for her ability to solve problems for her constituents and to work well with all members of Congress. Martha has a wide breadth of experience from her time in Washington and on the Montgomery City Council. We are very excited to have Martha join us.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Coming soon: 2021 POWER & INFLUENCE 40, Yellowhammer 15

(W. Miller/YHN)

Yellowhammer Multimedia on Friday announced that the annual POWER & INFLUENCE 40 and Yellowhammer 15 features will return in the coming weeks after a hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic last year.

For the past decade, Yellowhammer has released an annual list of the most powerful and influential people in Alabama business and politics. That tradition lives on through a format newly introduced when the lists were last published in 2019.

The POWER & INFLUENCE 40 list recognizes the top individuals in government and politics who leverage their power and influence to better the Yellowhammer State.

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Meanwhile, the Yellowhammer 15 is the preeminent honor for those in the private sector that are moving Alabama forward to better days.

Through job creation, economic impact, community involvement and philanthropic endeavors, these exemplary leaders in their professional fields make our great state a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Unlike the Power & Influence 40 list, a person can be recognized in the Yellowhammer 15 only once in a lifetime. And, not only will this honor be exclusive, the accumulation of inductees over time will compile a “hall of fame” type list synonymous with the pinnacle of professional and civic achievement.

Be on the lookout for both lists being published in the coming weeks.

1 week ago

‘Political outsider’: Republican Keith Kelley launches 2022 Alabama State Senate campaign

(Birmingham Association of REALTORS®, Inc./Facebook)

Anniston businessman Keith Kelley on Wednesday announced his Republican candidacy for the Alabama State Senate.

Kelley will run in 2022 for the District 12 seat to be vacated by longterm officeholder Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston), who has announced he will not seek reelection.

The president of Harris-McKay Realty for more than 26 years, Kelley started his first business at the age of 19. He has previously served as president of the Alabama Association of Realtors and on the National Association of Realtors board of directors, as well as in additional leadership roles in other civic and charitable organizations.

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A release stressed that Kelley feels that his business experience and ability to form relationships across the aisle would make him an effective state senator. SD 12 represents Calhoun County and parts of Talladega County.

“I want to make sure that District 12 continues to have a strong voice in Montgomery and is represented with honesty and integrity. I learned the importance of serving others at an early age,” stated Kelley.

“I have a true desire for public service,” he continued. “As a job creator and political outsider, I will provide the leadership that Northeast Alabama needs to ensure that our area grows and thrives.”

His campaign Facebook page can be accessed here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

Republicans Leigh Hulsey, Kenneth Paschal advance to House District 73 special primary runoff

(Pixabay, YHN)

Leigh Hulsey and Kenneth Paschal are heading to a runoff following Tuesday’s special Republican primary in Alabama House District 73.

Unofficial results showed Hulsey leading the five-person primary field with 30.77%, while Paschal garnered 27.10%.

The safely Republican seat was vacated by former Rep. Matt Fridy’s (R-Montevallo) election to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. HD 73 represents portions of Shelby County.

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Hulsey is Helena’s city council president pro tem and the owner of CrossFit Alabaster.

“I would love to thank everyone who got out to vote today (absentees too). I’m overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to earn your vote in the runoff on April 27th! Time to get back to work!” she said in a Tuesday night social media post.

Paschal served 21 years in the Army before retiring in 2006. He is a past commander of the American Legion and a member of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

“I want to thank the voters of Shelby County for the trust they placed in me today. There were many good candidates and I’m grateful for the voters’ support,” he stated. “I’ve never run for office before, but I feel like our campaign has momentum and I’m going to continue to work hard for every vote.”

The special primary runoff is slated for April 27.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Former State Rep. April Weaver wins Republican primary in Alabama Senate District 14

(A. Weaver/Contributed)

Former State Rep. April Weaver (R-Brierfield) on Tuesday routed the competition to win the special Republican primary in Alabama Senate District 14.

The district comprises portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties, including areas hit especially hard by severe weather last week.

The SD 14 seat became vacant when former State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) was appointed as director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

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Unofficial results provided by the secretary of state’s office showed Weaver garnering 82% of the vote in a three-candidate primary field.

A lifelong resident of District 14, Weaver is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration. She has worked more than 23 years in hospital management in various roles. Most recently, she served as a regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Trump administration.

“We are excited that after spending time working for the Trump Administration, former State Rep. April Weaver will be our nominee for Senate District 14. She will work hard to keep that seat in the Republican column and be a strong representative for the residents of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties,” stated Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl.

When serving in the House of Representatives from 2010-2020, she was the first ever woman to serve as chair of the House Health Committee. Weaver has also been a leader within the Alabama Energy Council and national Energy Council.

Weaver will face Democrat Virginia Teague Applebaum in the general election.

SD 14 is considered safely Republican, as Ward carried 73% of the general election vote in 2018.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Republican Dale Strong announces candidacy for Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District — ‘I want to pick up the fight that Donald Trump started’

(Chairman Dale W. Strong/Facebook)

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong on Monday morning announced his candidacy to succeed Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in representing Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brooks last week announced his U.S. Senate candidacy. The district covers the northernmost counties in Alabama, stretching across the state.

Strong made his announcement alongside family members at the Monrovia Volunteer Fire Department in Madison. The event was certainly fitting, given Strong’s longtime volunteer service for that very same department.

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Indeed, the Madison County native’s life has been centered on public service in general. He is currently serving his seventh term on the county commission, including his third term as chairman. Strong in 2012 became the first Republican ever elected as chairman.

“I have spent my life serving my community, helping those in need and protecting our values,” he said in a statement.

“Now our nation is under attack by socialist Democrats who threaten our right to bear arms, want to take more of our paychecks and open our borders regardless of the consequences,” Strong continued. “I will fight the Nancy Pelosi, AOC and Biden agenda and stand strong for our families and Christian values.”

He pledged to both advance the Trump agenda and be a pro-jobs champion, fighting for the unique needs of AL-05.

“I was proud to support Donald Trump on day one and I believe he is the greatest President of our time,” Strong advised. “I am running for Congress because I want to pick up the fight that Donald Trump started and put our country back on the right track.”

The Republican added, “North Alabama is a special place with a growing economy that plays a vital role in our national defense, space program and advanced manufacturing. My pro-defense and anti-tax agenda will help continue that growth so we can provide new opportunities for our children and grandchildren. As your voice in Congress, I will always fight for our jobs and Christian values.”

A release from Strong’s campaign highlighted that as chairman, he opened each commission meeting with a prayer and followed through on his pledge to “Do More with Less” by rightsizing the county workforce while improving service. In turn, Strong used those savings to build new roads and schools.

Strong has been widely credited with playing a key role in bringing together leaders from across the North Alabama region to recruit Toyota Mazda, Polaris, GE Aviation, Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne and others to the community. A lifelong first responder, he is also well known for leading the rescue, removal and rebuilding efforts following the deadly tornado that struck western Madison County on April 27, 2011. Strong led a community effort that fed thousands and provided food, clothes and generators to those in need when the community was without power for more than a week.

Strong’s campaign website has launched and can be accessed here.

Yellowhammer News recently sat down with Strong regarding his campaign. Be on the lookout for that interview later this week.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 weeks ago

Terri Sewell announces she will not run for Senate in 2022

(Rep. Terri Sewell/Facebook)

U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) announced Wednesday that she will not seek Alabama’s open U.S. Senate seat in the 2022 midterm election.

“After careful consideration and consultation with my family and closest advisors, I have decided that the unfinished business of my home district, Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, is far too important for me to seek higher office at this time,” Sewell said in a statement.

Sewell noted that she had been “humbled by the overwhelming requests I have received to run for Senator Shelby’s seat in 2022.”

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Alabama’s lone Democrat in Congress had previously stoked speculation that she may run during a February appearance on MSNBC and indicated she was still considering a Senate campaign in another appearance in early March.

Some Alabama political insiders had speculated in recent months that Sewell was thinking of giving up her House seat, which Wednesday’s statement appears to dispel in addition to the Senate rumors.

Sewell’s federal campaign account had $2,243,480.25 cash on hand on December 31, 2020, the last time reports were required to be filed with the FEC.

The Selma native promised on Wednesday to “throw my full weight behind the Democrat candidate [for Senate] who emerges as the strongest advocate” for the issues she cares most about.

The race to replace the retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has already gained two high-profile Republican candidates in U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former Trump administration ambassador Lynda Blanchard.

Two other GOP candidates, Secretary of State John Merrill and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama Katie Britt, are both widely speculated to enter the race in the coming months. Britt is a former chief of staff to Shelby.

There is no consensus among observers on who the Democratic Party will nominate for the seat. Former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) told WHNT on Monday he has no plans to run for office again.

Election forecasting experts have rated Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat as safely Republican.

“I remain committed to representing all Alabamians in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Sewell stated on Wednesday.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

3 weeks ago

Mo Brooks announces 2022 U.S. Senate bid, pledges to be ‘fearless fighter’

(Mo Brooks for Senate/YouTube)

HUNTSVILLE — Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) on Monday evening announced his Republican candidacy for the United States Senate.

Brooks will vie for the seat currently held by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL); Shelby last month announced he will not seek reelection to a seventh term.

Making his announcement at Bullet and Barrel, a well-known indoor shooting range in the Rocket City, Brooks was joined by a full crowd of family, friends and other supporters.

Stephen Miller was a featured guest and addressed the crowd before Brooks spoke. Miller served in the White House throughout President Donald J. Trump’s administration, including as the lead speech writer and a senior advisor to the president. Miller was formerly communications director for then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

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After declaring his endorsement of Brooks, Miller said, “I can tell you that nobody over the last four years has had President Trump’s back more than Mo Brooks. But now, I need you to have his back. Your vote for Mo Brooks will allow him to carry on the ‘America First’ agenda.”

“I truly believe that tonight will be remembered by history,” he remarked, “as the night that we began to take back our country.”

Miller is well-known nationally as a key architect of Trump’s immigration and border security policies, and that topic was highlighted in his Monday remarks.

“Right now we are in the middle of an unprecedented border crisis,” Miller commented. “Every single day thousands of people are illegally coming into this country and being illegally released into this country. At the same time, our brave ICE officers have been ordered to stand down. That means in your state, right now in Alabama, criminal illegal immigrants — who just a few weeks ago were being sent home [by the Trump administration] — are now being set free to reoffend against law abiding Americans.”

“If you care about having a secure border, if you care about having a sovereign country, if you care about immigration policies that put American workers first, that put American families first, that put American children first, there’s only one candidate in this race — and you know it and it’s Mo Brooks,” he told the crowd.

Miller subsequently advised, “One of the most important things I’ve learned working in politics… is that you judge someone in politics by who opposes them. Ask yourself this question: who are all the people trying to stop Mo Brooks? It’s the communists, the socialists, the America haters, the open border radicals, the abortionists — weak-kneed Republicans, too — radical Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer. They would love, all of those forces, would love nothing more than for Alabama to choose a different candidate. So the fundamental question is: who decides Alabama’s future, them or you?”

He underscored that his endorsement and remarks were coming from a place of “profound hope.”

“Because I know for a fact that when you send Mo Brooks to the U.S. Senate, everything will begin to change,” Miller said. “Principle matters. Courage matters. Heart matters.”

Before Brooks took the stage to speak, an introductory campaign video was played.

Watch:

During remarks that lasted about 30 minutes, Brooks touted his lengthy record of holding public office, which stretches back to being elected to the state legislature in 1982. He underscored that he has won 14 general elections between state legislative, county commission and congressional campaigns.

The North Alabama congressman outlined some of the top reasons why he is running for the Senate.

“One: because America’s status as the greatest nation in world history is at risk,” Brooks said. “And it’s at risk from those within our country. For adopting policies that, in the long haul, will hurt America and reduce us to a second-rate country.”

Brooks decried that America’s “foundational principles” are “under attack on a daily basis.”

The first issue Brooks raised pertained to the November presidential election.

“Our republic’s elections system, which is the underpinning of every republic, is under attack,” he stated. “In 2020, America suffered the worst voter fraud and election theft in history. And all of America would know that if the news media was not suppressing the truth.”

Brooks lamented that Democrats, who he consistently referred to as “the socialists,” support “cancel culture” and “big tech censorship,” two issues he explained infringe on the First Amendment rights of Alabamians. Brooks also said that Democrats do not support the Second Amendment. He warned Democrats want to “render us powerless against criminals and dictatorial socialism.”

“Socialists even let men pretend to be women to complete in women sports … you know, not knowing the difference between males and females, now that’s science denial,” Brooks remarked.

He also listed the deficit and the ballooning national debt as core priorities for him.

Brooks subsequently stressed something he finds especially “repugnant” in the recently enacted $1.9 trillion Democratic spending bill.

“This same bill doles out $5 billion to all American farmer races except whites,” he said. “How many of y’all heard of that? The socialist Democrat message: whites need not apply.”

“Now, look, all racism is repugnant,” Brooks continued. “We should never judge people by their skin pigmentation at birth — that’s something they have no control over. We should be judging people based on their character. That’s not what these socialists believe. They believe they can use racial divisions to their advantage; they seek to exploit it, regardless of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. And we need to fight against racism, and we need to fight for the 14th Amendment and equal protection. And that means we need to stop this racial division that the Democrats so frequently use as they try to cultivate votes.”

Immigration, of course, was also a focus of the speech.

“America is nothing without borders,” Brooks explained. “Rather than secure America’s borders, socialist Democrats dismantle them with deadly effect. Remember these numbers. Each year, according to federal government crime data, roughly… 2,000 Americans are dead at the hands of illegal aliens each year. Killed on American soil. Where is the fake news media talking about that? That’s a national scandal. But it doesn’t end there. Each year, over 30,000 dead Americans from overdoses on deadly narcotics smuggled across our porous southern border. That’s a national scandal. … Each year, struggling American families suffer from depressed wages and lost jobs caused by tsunami after tsunami of illegal aliens crossing our southern border. … And each year American taxpayers suffer an estimated net tax loss of roughly $200 billion per year at the city, county, state and federal level as result of the services given to illegal aliens and their families that taxpayers wouldn’t be burdened with but for our porous southern border.”

He concluded — and summarized — his pitch by saying that he is “a fearless fighter who will not submit to the demands of socialist Democrats, to weak-kneed ‘RINOS’ or to the fake news media.”

“I fight for America. I don’t cower in the face of their dishonest tactics,” Brooks emphasized. “And they know it, and it just bugs the heck out of them.”

Brooks’ campaign website can be accessed here.

You can watch Brooks’ full announcement event here or below:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 weeks ago

Brooks attacked by shadowy out-of-state group for opposing Trump in 2016 primary

(M. Brooks/Facebook)

As U.S. Rep. Mo. Brooks (R-Huntsville) appears set to announce a campaign for U.S. Senate, a dark money group from outside of Alabama is attacking him for his opposition to then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

A shadowy group called the American Exceptionalism Institute has hired trucks emblazoned with reminders of Brooks’ 2016 criticism of Trump to drive around Huntsville in recent days as Brooks is set to announce his Senate candidacy Monday evening.

“These attacks confirm I am in the lead, which is a good thing,” Brooks told Yellowhammer News on Monday. “These groups will lie and use under-handed tactics to try to cut into my lead. It goes with the turf. They won’t succeed.”

The American Exceptionalism Institute hides its donors from the public. It was incorporated in Columbus, Ohio, in 2018.

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On some official FEC documents, the American Exceptionalism Institute is listed at an address in Alexandria, Virginia.

The American Exceptionalism Institute has been linked to Columbus, Ohio lawyer James G. Ryan. Ryan has done work on behalf of numerous corporations and has ties to dozens of similar dark money groups. It is unclear what Ryan’s ties to the groups are beyond filing the paperwork to incorporate them with the relevant authorities.

The trucks hired by the group remind onlookers that Brooks said those voting for Trump in the 2016 primary “will be very regretful of voting for Donald Trump.”

An example of the trucks, procured by Politico, can be viewed here.

The comments seek to resurface Brooks’ opposition to Trump during the 2016 primary when the Alabama congressman was a staunch supporter of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaign.

During the primary, Brooks called Trump a “serial adulterer” and “notorious flip-flopper.” Brooks said about Trump that he would “not publicly support, or endorse with my reputation, someone who I know to have such huge character flaws and who is dishonest.”

“Let Mo Know he was Wrong!” the traveling billboard paid for by the dark money group urges the public.

Notably, Brooks became one of the most ardent supporters of President Trump after the 2016 general election. Brooks was the first and most aggressive federal elected official to insist that the U.S. Congress not certify then-former Vice-President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, arguing the victory was invalid.

Reporting from Politico over the weekend indicated Trump is strongly considering an endorsement of Brooks’ nascent campaign.

Brooks is being joined at an event on Monday by Stephen Miller, a longtime senior advisor to Trump and former aide to U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

In years past, the American Exceptionalism Institute has spent big in support of the interests of powerful Senate Republicans in Washington. It funneled $2.5 million to support U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s victory in 2020 and spent $200,000 with the goal of getting Republicans elected in the recent Senate races in Georgia.

The group also spent $100,000 encouraging U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to support Gina Haspel’s nomination as director of the CIA.

“There is no question that Socialist Democrats, the Fake News Media, and weak-kneed RINO Republicans fear principled conservatives like Mo Brooks in the Senate,” Brooks said on Monday.

Another dark money group tied to James Ryan ran ads against Trump in the last days of the 2020 presidential election.

While Brooks has not officially declared his Senate candidacy, he has changed his official campaign fundraising paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to read “Mo Brooks for Senate.”

The congressman is set to be the second person to mount a campaign for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) announced retirement in 2022. Currently, the only declared candidate is Lynda Blanchard, the Trump administration’s ambassador to Slovenia.

Brooks is set to officially announce his plans for the upcoming election cycle at an event on Monday evening in Huntsville.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

4 weeks ago

Alabama Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard hosts Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, gets surprise visit from Trump

From left to right: Former Alabama State Rep. Perry Hooper, former U.S. Ambassador Lynda Blanchard, former President Donald J. Trump, and Montgomery businessman John Blanchard.

U.S. Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard on Saturday evening held a fundraiser for her Republican campaign at Mar-a-Lago, the storied Florida resort owned by former President Donald J. Trump.

The fundraiser was not hosted by Trump, and he was not scheduled to attend.

However, as evidenced by pictures from the event obtained by Yellowhammer News, Trump did indeed stop by. While the resort functions as a private membership club, Trump also maintains his primary residence at Mar-a-Lago.

A source who attended the event estimated that more than 50 people attended the Blanchard fundraiser, including multiple fellow former Trump ambassadors.

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Blanchard served as the U.S. ambassador to Slovenia after being nominated to the post by Trump in 2018. As highlighted in Blanchard’s campaign announcement video released last month, Slovenia is the home country of former first lady Melania Trump.

This drew a mention from Trump at Saturday’s event, which he ended up attending for about 15 minutes.

“[Y]ou’ve announced, and it’s a big story,” the former president remarked to Blanchard in front of the assembled crowd. “I can say you did a great job as ambassador.”

Referring to Blanchard and her husband, Trump continued, “Both of you were representatives of this country, and you both did a fantastic job. And I know something about Slovenia — you know that it’s a little paradise over there.”

He did not make an endorsement during the fundraiser.

As first reported by Fox News, Trump at the event was also presented with a framed copy of a resolution passed by the Alabama Republican Party State Executive Committee last month.

The resolution honors Trump as “one of the greatest and most effective presidents” in American history. Former State Rep. Perry Hooper (R-Montgomery), the sponsor of the resolution, made the presentation.

Besides Blanchard, no other candidate has yet to announce in the 2022 race to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). Blanchard is currently running television ads during March Madness games and on Fox News Channel.

She and her husband were major donors to Trump in the 2016 and 2020 cycles.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 weeks ago

Alabama House District 73 special primary election shaping up

(Joseph Daley for Alabama State House District 73, Elect George Henry for District 73, Leigh Hulsey for State House District 73, Kenneth Paschal for State Representative District 73, Kerri Pate for State House District 73/Facebook, YHN)

The special election in Alabama House District 73 is shaping up to be a competitive one, with the March 30 primary date quickly approaching.

The safely Republican seat was vacated by former Rep. Matt Fridy’s (R-Montevallo) election to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. HD-73 represents portions of Shelby County. Governor Kay Ivey set the house district’s special election to align with the special election she previously set for Senate District 14, which encompasses parts of Shelby, Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson and Hale Counties.

The HD-73 GOP primary field is comprised of Joseph Daley, George Henry, Leigh Hulsey, Kenneth Paschal and Kerri Pate.

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RELATED: Republican Leigh Hulsey announces Alabama House District 73 candidacy

Paschal served 21 years in the Army before retiring in 2006. A past commander of the American Legion and a member of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, he was recently unanimously selected to join the Shelby County Republican Executive Committee. His campaign received a significant boost this week with respective endorsements by Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and City Council President Maurice Mercer.

“Kenneth will be a great representative for Shelby County. He is a man of character and integrity. Kenneth is a straight shooter and he’s always stood up for what he believes,” stated Waters. “Together, we would like to announce our endorsement of Kenneth Paschal for State Representative.”

“I’ve known Kenneth for 10 years. I’ve seen firsthand how much he cares for our communities and his commitment to service. Kenneth is someone we can trust. I hope the people of Shelby County will join me and support Kenneth with their vote,” added Mercer.

“I’m very excited to have the support and endorsement of Mayor Waters and Council President Maurice Mercer. I’m a conservative Republican. I also believe that leaders have to be able to bring people together to get things done. I think that today’s endorsement shows that I will represent all the people of District 73,” commented Paschal.

“I’ve never run for office before. I’m a career veteran, not a career politician,” he continued. “In the Army, I had to complete the mission. Today, we have too many politicians that can’t seem to get things done or stand up for what they believe. I’m running for God and country. I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. My oath did not end when I retired from the Army. That’s why I’m running for District 73.”

Two candidates in the field, Hulsey and Daley, are from Helena. Hulsey is city council president pro tem and Daley is a real estate agent. Hulsey is also the owner of CrossFit Alabaster.

“I will use my conservative, pro-business values to bring about real change to our state and District 73,” she said in a statement.

Henry is a businessman who lives in Montevallo, and Pate is a city council member in Alabaster.

“I want to take my experience in local government and my conservative values to the statehouse in Montgomery,” Pate said in a statement. “Shelby County has been a wonderful home for me and my family, and I think I can make it even better.”

She identified as key priorities working with state leaders to keep Alabama’s taxes low and incentivize job creation to further solidify our state’s pro-business reputation. Pate also considers Montevallo to be her second home, as she coordinates volunteers and works in sales at the American Village.

“My experiences working at the American Village have only strengthened my support for our military, veterans, and the integrity of our Constitution,” she remarked. “I’ll make sure they have a strong voice in Montgomery.”

The special primary runoff, if necessary, is slated for April 27 in HD-73

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

Defend Our Values PAC launches in Alabama, looking to become national conservative force

(Wally Gobetz/Flickr, YHN)

The newly formed Defend Our Values PAC’s (DOVPAC) first foray into a federal election is already making waves.

Based in Alabama, the super PAC was recently launched with one core mission: “winning a Republican Majority in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.”

To that end, DOVPAC on Thursday announced its endorsement of Dr. Julia Letlow for Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District. This congressional seat was vacated upon the tragic passing of her late husband, then Congressman-elect Luke Letlow.

Billy Taylor is the founder of DOVPAC. He was one of the largest donors to U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) successful 2020 campaign and is quickly becoming a must-have supporter in Alabama politics. Now, his influence is expanding outside the state.

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“Dr. Letlow is a Christian Conservative fighter, and DOVPAC is proud to offer her our full endorsement,” stated Taylor. “After talking to Dr. Letlow, I quickly realized she is the strong pro-life Conservative in this race and we need her in Congress. I believe our nation will be better served with Julia in office, and we are proud to support her.”

Letlow thanked DOVPAC for its endorsement in a social media post on Thursday afternoon.

DOVPAC’s website states that it “supports conservative Republican candidates running for the House and Senate by raising the resources needed to help counter the massive amounts of money that are being poured into races from the radical left.”

“We raise money from volunteers, activists, and ordinary Americans that care deeply about our country and are concerned about the lurch towards socialism,” the website adds. “DOVPAC strategically devotes its resources where we can make a difference. Our spending through direct mail, television, and digital advertising, is thoughtful and based on reliable numbers. Long and short – DOVPAC knows how to win the tough fights!”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

2022 cycle officially begins: GOP Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard going up on TV

(Lynda Blanchard for Senate/YouTube)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard on Friday announced she is launching an initial television advertising buy in her 2022 bid to succeed retiring Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).

Blanchard, who was appointed by then-President Donald J. Trump in 2017 to serve as the ambassador to Slovenia, said in a written press release that she will begin airing her first TV spots of the cycle next week.

The initial ad buy is said to total $100,000 and will reportedly span three weeks, beginning March 11. The ads will appear around the state during game coverage of NCAA March Madness and on Fox News Channel.

Blanchard at this time is the only announced candidate in the race. She announced a personal investment of $5 million in the race when she made her campaign announcement.

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“As the first announced candidate for the U.S. Senate, it is important for Republican voters to learn about me and where I stand on the issues that matter to us most,” Blanchard said in a statement. “We plan an aggressive and well-funded television campaign, and I look forward to telling my story and making my case as a Christian, conservative, Trump Republican.”

Her campaign also wrote that the initial three-week buy could be extended. They have also reportedly reserved a total of $3 million in radio and TV ads through the 2022 primary election date, however reserving ad time does not lock a campaign into actually spending money until each respective ad would run.

The primary is currently slated for May 24, 2022, however the Alabama Legislature is considering legislation to bump that date back due to awaiting the results of the 2020 Census and subsequent redistricting.

“Just like President Trump famously self-funded his 2016 presidential campaign, I am an outsider who cannot be bought,” Blanchard added on Friday. “The only way to fully drain the Swamp is for outsider candidates like me to run and win because the Washington insiders, career politicians, and RINO establishment want to keep things just the way they are.”

RELATED: Alabama GOP Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard: 2020 election ‘stolen from President Trump’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

State Rep. Kirk Hatcher wins Montgomery’s Senate District 26 special election

(Kirk Hatcher/Twitter)

MONTGOMERY — Rep. Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery) on Tuesday won the special general election in Senate District 26.

Hatcher defeated Republican nominee William Green by a 78%-22% margin. Green is a former Montgomery City Council member.

According to unofficial results provided by Montgomery County Probate Judge JC Love, 5,827 votes were cast in the contest, equating to a 6.71% turnout.

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This seat was vacated in 2020 by then-Sen. David Burkette (D-Montgomery) resigning ahead of entering a guilty plea on charges that he violated state campaign finance laws.

Hatcher dominated a crowded Democratic primary field, culminating in a runoff rout of former Rep. John Knight (D-Montgomery), to win the SD-26 nomination.

The district is heavily Democratic. Burkette beat his Republican opponent with more than 80% of the vote in 2018 and his predecessor Quinton Ross ran unopposed in the 2010 and 2014 general elections.

Hatcher’s ascension to the Senate will trigger another special election to fill his House seat.

UPDATE: Hatcher will be sworn into his new office on Wednesday afternoon.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

Ivey bucks ‘cancel culture,’ stands by Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day

(Gov. Kay Ivey/YouTube)

Dr. Seuss is under fire on his birthday.

March 2 is the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth, as well as the annual Read Across America Day.

Started by the National Educational Association in 1998 as a way to promote children’s reading, the holiday is traditionally seen as being held in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, although the two are technically distinct events.

However, President Joe Biden on Tuesday removed any mention of Dr. Seuss from his Read Across America Day proclamation amid accusations of “racial undertones” and derogatory imagery in the classic children’s books.

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Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama had both mentioned Dr. Seuss in their respective proclamations for the annual day.

Tuesday also saw the announcement that Dr. Seuss Enterprises will no longer publish six of the author’s books because they allegedly “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Amid “cancel culture” coming for Seuss, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is not shying away from the traditional association between the author’s birthday and Read Across America Day. Ivey shared a video of her reading Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Ivey press secretary Gina Maiola said, “Governor Ivey believes that there is no place for ‘cancel culture’ in our country.”

“Instead of worrying about telling kids it is wrong to read Dr. Seuss, let’s worry about getting them back in the classroom,” she continued. “As a former teacher, Governor Ivey believes teaching students that reading can be fun, that they should pursue their dreams and that the principle of treating everyone with kindness and respect are all relevant lessons today.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

‘God’s on our side’: Tuberville says 2022 is final chance to save America from being ‘too far gone’

(Tuberville campaign/YouTube)

MONTGOMERY — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Saturday addressed the 2021 Winter Meeting of the Alabama Republican Party.

He delivered an update on his first two months in office, decrying what Democratic-control of both legislative chambers and the executive branch means for the country.

Tuberville noted that between now and when he next is able to speak to the ALGOP during their August summer meeting, “[Y]ou’re going to be shocked what’s going to happen to this country.”

“And it’s already happening,” he continued. “Folks, we’re in trouble. But I’m speaking to the choir here. I’m speaking to the group that wants God in our schools, that wants to go with the Constitution, that wants to have small government. They are just the opposite. And now we gave them the reins and they’re going to build on that like you’ve never seen.”

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The freshman senator warned that Alabamians should brace for their taxes to go up and gas prices to continue rising due to Democrats’ rule.

“How they got control, I don’t know,” the Lee County resident said. “But we have got to fight. We can’t lay down; we can’t say we can’t do anything about it. In this state, we can continue to grow and keep sending conservative congressmen, senators, state legislators … everybody, local governments, school boards.”

He then stressed the critical importance of local governance on citizens’ daily lives, encouraging people “to take care of your neighborhoods” and greater communities across the Yellowhammer State.

“Run for office, stand up for something. Because if we don’t, we’re going to lose. Our kids are not going to have the same thing that you and I had growing up,” Tuberville urged.

“It’s scary,” he added. “I told everybody on the campaign trail, ‘We’re in trouble.’ I didn’t really realize how much we were in trouble. It’s bad.”

The Republican subsequently spoke about being on the Senate floor on January 6, “when all heck broke loose.”

“I was embarrassed,” he remarked. “If that was people that were conservative, God-loving Republicans, they were wrong. Because we gave them something to talk about. There’s been 225 riots in this country. People have been killed, $200 million worth of businesses burned. Nobody says anything. But if we went up there and did that, which a lot of people did, that’s all they talk about. And it put us in a bind. We’re going to fight back; we know better — we do it the right way.”

He encouraged Republicans to work hard at building party infrastructure and new coalitions ahead of 2022.

“Folks, we’ve only got one more chance,” Tuberville stated. “One more chance and it’ll be too far gone. But, God’s on our side. Pray every day. Believe in your state, your community, your schools. It’s going to work out fine. But there’ll be a lot of bumps down the road.”

“I’m going to vote for you every time there’s a vote,” he reiterated to the people of Alabama. “We’re going to vote the right way.”

“I promise you I’m going to do God’s work and think about you every day,” Tuberville pledged.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

John Skipper elected senior vice chair of ALGOP, defeating Rep. Andrew Sorrell

(John Skipper/Facebook)

MONTGOMERY — Mobile County’s John Skipper on Saturday defeated State Rep. Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) to become senior vice chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.

The election came during ALGOP’s 2021 Winter Meeting. Skipper fills the seat vacated by John Wahl’s ascension to chairman of the state party.

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Wahl, from Limestone County, was elected by acclamation after no other nomination was made for the chairmanship.

There were 362 votes cast by members of the ALGOP state executive committee in the senior vice chair election; Skipper received 53% of the vote compared to Sorrell’s 47%.

Sorrell had been serving as vice chairman of the party for the Fourth and Fifth Congressional Districts. Skipper had been serving as ALGOP vice chairman for the First and Second Congressional Districts.

Skipper is also the father of Tripp Skipper, who launched now-U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) successful campaign in the 2020 cycle and served on Tuberville’s transition committee.

Other ALGOP officers elected on Saturday are as follows:

  • Bill Harris, vice chair for for AL-01 and AL-02
  • Pat Wilson, vice chair for AL-03, AL-06 and AL-07
  • Josh Dodd, vice chair for AL-04 and AL-05
  • Carol Jahns, secretary
  • Sallie Bryant, treasurer

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

Ainsworth opts against 2022 U.S. Senate run

Ainsworth campaign

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) on Friday announced he will not be a candidate in Alabama’s 2022 U.S. Senate contest.

The seat is being vacated by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) decision not to seek a seventh term.

Ainsworth, who is serving his first term as lieutenant governor, is the prohibitive favorite to be the Yellowhammer State’s next governor.

“After discussions with my wife, Kendall, and prayerful consideration, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” he wrote in a social media post. “Because our twin boys and daughter are young and need a father who is present and deeply involved in their lives, I feel strongly that God’s plan currently calls for me to continue leading on the state, not federal, level of government.”

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“The encouragement to run that I have received from every corner of the state is humbling, and the support of my fellow Alabamians is deeply appreciated,” Ainsworth continued. “Sen. Shelby has served Alabama well, and his shadow will loom large over all those who run to fill his seat. As lieutenant governor, I will continue seeking conservative solutions to the problems facing Alabama and will keep working each day to bring more jobs, hope, and opportunities to the citizens of our state.”

Lynda Blanchard is currently the only announced candidate in the 2022 U.S. Senate race.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 months ago

U.S. Rep. Sewell: ‘Exploring my options’ on 2022 U.S. Senate run — ‘I disagree’ we cannot turn Alabama blue like we did Georgia

(Screenshot/MSNBC)

The 2020 election cycle in Georgia, which saw the state go for Joe Biden in the presidential election and flip two U.S. Senate seats from red to blue, has some looking across the border to the west, wondering if the same thing is possible in Alabama.

With U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) announcing he will not seek a seventh term in the U.S. Senate, there has been full-on speculation as to who might run for the seat on the Republican side. However, there seems to have been little discussion about who might lead the Democrats on the ballot in the 2022 general election.

During an appearance Saturday on MSNBC’s “The Cross Connection,” U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) was asked about the possibility that she might seek the Democrat nod for U.S. Senate in 2022. Sewell was noncommittal on a run but acknowledged it was something she would “look very closely at.”

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“I think the reality is exactly right — black women helped deliver Biden to the White House,” she said. “We helped deliver Senator Doug Jones to the Senate, and I do believe we deserve a seat at the table. Obviously, we’ll look very closely at it. I have the opportunity to represent my home district — Selma, Alabama, Montgomery, Birmingham — the Civil Rights District. It is the honor of a lifetime for me. I’ve worked hard over the last 10 years, and here’s what I know for sure — black women need a seat at the table. We’ve earned that right, and we are obviously missing that seat in the Senate. And it is going to be critically important that we have a seat at the table and we help set the agenda.”

“I look forward to exploring my options when it comes to that, but I want you to know that I am committed to making sure we represent Alabama — all of Alabamians in the United States House of Representatives, and I look forward to doing that.”

Host Tiffany Cross pressed Sewell on the possibility, only to be told by Sewell that she was “singularly focused” on her district but planned to explore options while acknowledging the politics in neighboring Georgia were something to consider.

“I disagree with the premise that somehow Alabama is not — we cannot turn Alabama blue like we did Georgia,” she said. “The reality is we can expand the electorate. The reality is African-American communities, both men and women, really did deliver that win for Doug Jones. And I know it is a steep climb, but I also know we are a resilient people — and African-American women, if anyone can do it, we can. And so, I will be looking at the opportunities in Alabama. But at the same time, I am singularly focused on delivering for the people I represent now in Alabama’s seventh congressional district. It is so important that we get that COVID relief, that we crush the virus, that we get an increase in minimum wage, that we get food security and deal with the nutrition assistance that is so needed.”

“But look, politics is politics,” Sewell added. “But I know the South is rising again, and we cannot, cannot leave us behind.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 months ago

Trump-appointed former ambassador Lynda Blanchard first to enter Alabama’s U.S. Senate race

(Lynda Blanchard for Senate campaign/YouTube)

MONTGOMERY — Lynda Blanchard, the businesswoman who was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Slovenia, officially announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated following the 2022 election by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).

A Montgomery native and first-time candidate, Blanchard made her announcement in a video released online.

To open the nearly three-minute spot, she described herself as a “Christian conservative and business builder,” as well as “a mother of eight wonderful children.”

“I’m a proud member of the MAGA movement,” she said. “Like you, I am grateful for the leadership and courage of our 45th president, Donald Trump.”

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“Today, I begin a new journey: a bid to earn your trust and your vote to serve as the next United States senator from our great state, Alabama,” Blanchard continued. “I’d never thought about serving in public office until President Trump asked me to, when he offered me the chance to serve as our ambassador to Slovenia.”

She then noted that this post had added importance due to Slovenia being the birthplace of then-First Lady Melania Trump.

“I leapt at the opportunity to fight for the America First agenda,” Blanchard emphasized, “to successfully promote President Trump’s vision to keep the United States strong and respected. It was an honor. That calling lit a fire in me to continue the cause as a champion for the values we hold near and dear: free speech, the right to bear arms, religious freedom, the sanctity of life for all of God’s children — born and unborn, lower taxes, a secure border, the belief that America is the greatest nation that the world has ever known. Those ideas seem like commonsense to me and you.”

Blanchard, 61, comes from a business background. The lifelong Yellowhammer State resident co-founded B&M Management, a Montgomery-based real estate investment management company currently valued at more than $1 billion, in 1993.

And, much like Trump largely self-funded his successful 2016 presidential candidacy, Blanchard on Thursday announced she is making an initial $5 million deposit in her Senate campaign coffers to ensure she has the resources necessary to be competitive in what should shape up to be an intriguing Republican field.

Her campaign is being led by Jeff Roe and Ethan Zorfas of Axiom Strategies, who served as the lead consultants on now-Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) successful campaign in the 2020 cycle.

Like Tuberville, Blanchard came right out of the gates in her announcement video positioning herself as an outsider and staunch supporter of Trump and Trump’s agenda.

She also warned that Democrats in Washington, D.C. are already hard at work “trying to erase triumphs of the Trump administration from our history.”

“If you’re sick of career politicians, insiders and swamp creatures that stand for socialism or cheerlead censorship, then I’m asking for your vote to stand strong for Alabama by sending a true outsider to the Senate,” Blanchard remarked. “My pledge to you is simple: together, guided by God’s blessings and your support, we will give the swamp a heckuva dose of the common sense and conservative principle that it needs to truly ‘Make America Great Again’ – just like Trump.”

A release from Blanchard’s campaign advised that as an ambassador during the Trump administration, she pressured Slovenia to maintain its NATO obligations, which was a major foreign policy initiative promoted by the president, and shepherded several bilateral agreements.

The campaign also pointed to Blanchard, guided by her Christian faith and a calling to aid children both domestically and internationally, co-founding and serving as CEO of the 100X Development Foundation beginning in 2004. The foundation reportedly seeks innovative ways to combat child poverty and is responsible for establishing orphanages, creating sustainable food production programs and funding on-going charitable efforts that have impacted the lives of thousands of families in 16 countries around the globe. It also supports multiple charities and programs serving children and vulnerable populations throughout Alabama.

Blanchard has four grown biological children and four adopted children. She is a board member of several charities and education programs, earned a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Auburn University, and is fluent in five computer programming languages.

Her campaign website has launched and can be accessed here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 months ago

Alabama elected officials mourn the death of Rush Limbaugh

(Rush Limbaugh/Facebook)

Conservative media icon Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday morning following a battle with Stage IV lung cancer.

The announcement was made by Limbaugh’s wife at the beginning of his namesake daily talk radio show, which is heard by about 27 million people every week.

Whether one agrees with his ideological beliefs or not, media outlets and public figures were quick to emphasize the incredible impact Limbaugh has had on the American media and political landscape over the past few decades. He will likely go down in history as one of the most influential figures of his generation.

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“Limbaugh came along at the perfect time—as the end of the FCC’s ‘Fairness Doctrine’ allowed broadcast media to be more opinioned, and as the end of other regulations allowed radio companies to replace local broadcasters with syndicated programs,” stated Dr. Chris Roberts, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media at the University of Alabama. “As companies focused more on FM and put music there, he filled the AM with talk. He didn’t work well on television—but he was at the forefront of the phenomenon of talk radio that will continue, for better and worse, to outlast him.”

Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, during then-President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Address last year.

Trump called into Fox News on Wednesday following the announcement of Limbaugh’s passing, praising the talk radio pioneer. The former president also released a written statement.

Statements mourning Limbaugh’s passing also came pouring in from elected officials in Alabama.

Governor Kay Ivey tweeted that Limbaugh’s “profound decades long career as a national voice for conservatives will be sincerely missed on the airwaves.”

“Rush Limbaugh led millions of listeners to embrace the conservative cause, and he will be deeply missed by all of us who admired him. Godspeed, Rush, and thank you for always being the voice of commonsense conservative values,” tweeted Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth.

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said in a statement, “Over the course of many years, whether in the car or on the treadmill, there was one man who taught me so much about conservative values: Rush Limbaugh. I’m forever thankful for his impact on me and millions of Americans during his three decades on air. Rush’s thoughtful, conservative perspective will be sorely missed, but he has paved the way for the next generation of conservative voices. My prayers are with the Limbaugh family during this time.”

In a Facebook post, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) commented, “Rush Limbaugh captivated talk radio audiences for decades. He was a fearless commentator, a conservative firebrand, and a patriot. A trailblazer in radio, Rush gave a voice to the many men and women of this country who lacked a voice in the national mainstream media. Last year, President Trump awarded Rush the Presidential Medal of Freedom to acknowledge his profound positive impact on America. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) released a statement, saying, “I’m very sad to hear of the news of Rush Limbaugh’s passing. For more than three decades Rush has been a voice for conservatism. When he began his nationally syndicated program, he singlehandedly changed the political landscape of America. Rush’s message in the early 1990s helped lead to the Republican revolution of 1994, and I believe played a role in my own election in 1996. Rush will be missed. My prayers go out to his family and his millions of listeners.”

“I join millions of Americans in mourning the passing of Rush Limbaugh,” Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) said in a statement. “I first listened to Rush in 1987, when I was still working for an international engineering company. I’d never heard anyone speak about the issues confronting our nation with such clarity. I really believe that Rush Limbaugh, in many respects, became a political mentor to me, as he was to millions more. Ronald Reagan may have launched the modern conservative movement, but Rush Limbaugh built it by speaking to tens of millions of Americans every week. He leaves a tremendous void, and it is now the responsibility of those he mentored to fill it. He will be greatly missed. Ann and I extend our deepest sympathy to the Limbaugh family at this difficult time and will remember them in our prayers.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 months ago

Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District again named nation’s most supportive of Trump

(Robert Aderholt for Congress/Contributed, YHN)

The numbers have been crunched, and Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District supported then-President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election more than any other district in the United States.

Daily Kos, a left leaning political website, has been conducting a calculation of the presidential election results broken down by each of the nation’s 435 congressional districts.

On Tuesday, the results were released for AL-04, showing that the rural Yellowhammer State district “gave Donald Trump both his highest percentage of the vote and widest margin of victory in the nation” in November.

Trump defeated now-President Joe Biden by an 81.23%-17.81% margin.

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This comes after Trump also trounced Hillary Clinton in 2016, that time by an 80%-17% rout.

“[T]he result is no surprise: In 2016, Trump also earned his biggest share of the vote nationwide in the 4th, though his net margin was just a touch higher in Texas’ 13th,” Daily Kos added.

AL-04 is represented by the dean of Alabama’s House delegation, Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville). He has served the district in Congress since first being elected in 1996.

His home of Winston County, as it did in 2016, saw more than 90% of its vote share go to Trump in November, as did Blount County with an even higher 91.27%. Additionally, Marion County with 88.55%, Cherokee County with 88.47% and Cullman County with 88.28% came in especially supportive of Trump in the Fourth Congressional District.

Daily Kos also revealed the 2020 presidential results in each of Alabama’s six other congressional districts on Tuesday.

(Daily Kos)

In Alabama’s First Congressional District, Trump beat Biden 63.69%-35.29%.

That margin was slightly wider in AL-02: 63.89%-35.14%.

Trump routed Biden in the Third Congressional District, 65.29%-33.72%.

Moving up to AL-05, that gap was 62.73%-35.65%.

In the Central Alabama AL-06, Trump garnered 67.03%, compared to Biden’s 31.76%.

Biden won Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District by a wide margin, capturing 70.79% to Trump’s 28.48%.

Those numbers are broken down by congressional district, county and even precinct here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn