WSJ report hints McConnell may get involved in Alabama’s 2022 GOP U.S. Senate primary — ‘Georgia was a fiasco’
The aftermath of election losses can be messy as measures are taken to prevent a repeat in the future, and according to a report in Tuesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is already considering remedies.
WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes reports McConnell has “signaled his willingness to get involved in primary elections to improve the party’s chances of regaining control of the chamber in the next round of elections in 2022.”
One of those 2022 races includes one of Alabama’s U.S. Senate seats that will be vacated by seven-term incumbent Richard Shelby, who announced last week he would not seek reelection.
— Siobhan Hughes (@siobhanehughes) February 15, 2021
Hughes wrote, “The key to GOP chances of retaking the Senate is ‘getting candidates who can actually win in November,’ Mr. McConnell said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. ‘That may or may not involve trying to affect the outcome of the primaries.'”
Among the states mentioned in the report, in addition to Alabama, were North Carolina and Virginia.
Hughes’ report makes specific mention of U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who is thought to be a front-runner in the race for the Republican U.S. senatorial primary should he announce his candidacy. It quotes former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, who said Brooks or “somebody who is fully committed to Trumpism” would make things more difficult for the GOP:
Mr. McConnell may be forced to draw lines in ways that exacerbate tensions in the party, given some of the potential candidates have associated themselves with the Capitol riots. A candidate in Virginia, for example, dubs herself “Trump in heels.”
And Mr. Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who appeared on stage at the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot, is being floated to fill an open Senate seat in North Carolina. In Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.), who also joined Mr. Trump at the rally and was pivotal in the effort to stop the certification of Mr. Biden’s win, wants to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Shelby.
While Alabama is considered a safe Republican seat, other Republicans worry Mr. Brooks’s candidacy there could alienate Republicans elsewhere.
“I do think it’s important not to go that far,” Mr. Flake said.
“It’s going to be difficult for Republicans not to win states like Alabama,” Mr. Flake said. “But having a Mo Brooks or somebody who is fully committed to Trumpism, whatever that is, in a couple of years will make it more difficult for senators to win in states like Colorado or Arizona, or Georgia.”
McConnell admits that the party is still reeling from the two Georgia U.S. Senate races’ losses last month.
“Georgia was a fiasco,” McConnell said according to Hughes. “We all know why that occurred.”
@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.