Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller has endorsed Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, becoming one of the first major local officials in the Yellowhammer State to publicly pick a candidate in the Republican primary.
In an endorsement video posted by Byrne’s campaign on Tuesday, Fuller said, “I’ve known Bradley for many years, back when he served in the Alabama legislature and then later I got to know him very well when he was Chancellor of the community college system. And of course our great college here in Opelika, Southern Union.”
“Bradley was conscientious,” the mayor said. “He was honest. He has integrity. Exactly the kind of person that I want representing me in the US Senate.”
“I want a person in the Senate that’s going to reflect Alabama values. Values that I believe in. I want border protection. I want to ban abortions. I want our economy to continue to grow and proposer, here in Opelika, East Alabama, and the state of Alabama,” Fuller emphasized. “And I think we’ll have that with a person like Bradley Byrne in the U.S. Senate. I know that he will speak for me and many, many other Alabamians when he is on the floor of the U.S. Senate. So, I hope you’ll join me. Let’s vote for and let’s elect Bradley Byrne to the Senate.”
Mayor Gary Fuller is a trusted leader for his community. I’m so proud to have his support in my race for U.S. Senate and look forward to working with him to serve Opelika and the great state of Alabama in the U.S. Senate! #RoadToRedAL pic.twitter.com/c7Argkf0CO
— Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) June 4, 2019
The endorsement is the latest in a line of local leaders endorsing Byrne, but it carries the significance of being the first publicly announced endorsement of Byrne by an official outside of his southwest Alabama stronghold. Robertsdale Mayor Charlie Murphy, Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day, State Rep. Matt Stimpson (R-Daphne) and Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack have previously endorsed Byrne.
Additionally, the added optics of this endorsement will not be lost on keen political observers, as Fuller’s support comes from former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s backyard.
Fuller’s endorsement came the same day that Yellowhammer News reported that State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) has been endorsed by the Washington, D.C.-based “Senate Conservatives Fund.”
Over the summer months, Alabamians can expect the 2020 Senate primary to begin picking up more steam as more candidates potentially enter the race and current candidates become more and more active on the campaign trail.
State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) is close to entering the race, as reported by Yellowhammer News last week. Secretary of State John Merrill and former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore could also announce candidacies in the near future, and State Auditor Jim Zeigler has set a self-imposed deadline of October to make a decision as he continues his exploratory campaign.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn