With only hours remaining until Republican voters head to the polls to cast their ballots in Alabama’s fifth congressional district runoff election, the race has taken a dramatic twist that sparked reaction from the office of former President Donald Trump.
Tuesday’s GOP primary runoff election features Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong and former Huntsville City Schools superintendent Casey Wardynski.
A text message was sent Monday evening to Republican voters that falsely claimed Wardynski held Trump’s endorsement along with a video promoting the candidate.
“Endorsed by former President Trump, CASEY WARDYNSKI is the REAL conservative Alabama needs,” the text message reads. “Casey will fight to protect gun rights, the unborn, and defend the Constitution. Vote CASEY WARDYNSKI for Congress tomorrow!”
The video’s disclaimer states that it was “paid for by House Freedom Action,” a super PAC affiliated with the pro-Wardynski House Freedom Caucus.
House Freedom Action could not be reached after multiple attempts requesting comment.
In an exclusive comment provided to Yellowhammer News, Susie Wiles, a spokesperson for Save America PAC, noted that Trump “didn’t get involved in this congressional race” and advised that the text message was “inaccurate.”
In response to the situation, the Wardynski campaign denied responsibility for the text message.
“We are not aware of any new Trump endorsements in this race. Any texts on this topic did not come from the Wardynski campaign,” the campaign said in a statement.
Strong campaign manager Colin Sudduth slammed Wardynski and lamented the false text message.
“Throughout this campaign Casey Wardynski has lied about Dale’s record and lied about his own,” said Sudduth. “Every time he has been confronted with proof of those lies he changes his story and blames someone else. This fake Trump endorsement seems like more of the same and is a new low.”
Former State Rep. Perry Hooper (R-Pike Road), who served as Alabama Victory chairman for Trump’s 2016 campaign, reacted to the false endorsement claim and called for the party responsible to be held accountable.
“It has come to my attention that there has been a text blast that has been sent to thousands of people stating that 5th Congressional District of Alabama candidate Casey Wardynski is endorsed by President Donald J. Trump. This is just not true,” declared Hooper. “Donald J. Trump has not endorsed a candidate in this runoff, and for some group or a candidate to say otherwise is slap in the face of every voter in the 5th congressional district.”
He concluded, “For any person or group to pull such a stunt is why so many people are sick of politics. Whomever is behind this salacious and blatantly false [text] should be revealed and held accountable.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL