Katie Britt, a former top aide to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has defeated Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama’s Republican Senate primary runoff, NBC News projects.
Britt will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd in November in the race to succeed Shelby, who is retiring.
The race had flummoxed former President Donald Trump, who had initially backed Brooks but later revoked the endorsement and got behind Britt late, long after it was clear she was the front-runner.
Georgia, meanwhile, dealt another round of blows to Trump, whose endorsed House candidates in two districts were defeated in GOP primary runoffs Tuesday, NBC News projects. In the 6th Congressional District, Rich McCormick, a Marine veteran and emergency room doctor, beat Trump-backed Jake Evans. And in the 10th District, trucking company owner Mike Collins bested Trump favorite Vernon Jones.
The GOP also is picking nominees Tuesday in Virginia, where party leaders hope to unseat two Democrats in the fall as they seek to reclaim control of the House.
In the 2nd Congressional District, state Sen. Jen Kiggans has won her party’s primary to take on Rep. Elaine Luria in the general election, NBC News projects. In the 7th District, Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega emerged from a six-way primary as the GOP nominee against Rep. Abigail Spanberger, NBC News projects.
Trump did not endorse in either race.
In Alabama, Trump had initially backed Brooks, once a staunch loyalist, but withdrew the endorsement after he dropped in polls. Trump cited Brooks’ desire to “move on” from the 2020 election that he continues to falsely say he won.
Brooks nevertheless advanced to the runoff, and Trump this month endorsed Britt, who like Brooks has embraced his baseless claims of election fraud. A Britt win would be another victory for Trump on a revenge tour that last week brought him a split result in South Carolina after a string of losses in Georgia last month.
In Georgia, on the same day Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, Republicans continued to be inhospitable to Trump.
The former president embarked on a revenge tour after losing the 2020 election and was particularly focused on Georgia, where he tried and failed to pressure Republican state officials, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger, to rig the state’s vote in his favor.
Jones, who lost the 10th Congressional District runoff, initially had planned to run for governor. He dropped out to accommodate David Perdue, the former U.S. senator Trump backed against Kemp. Perdue lost, as did Rep. Jody Hice, the Republican Trump endorsed against Raffensperger in the GOP primary for secretary of state. (Kemp endorsed Collins over Jones last week.)
In Virginia, Republicans are bullish in a state that not too long ago seemed to have moved decisively toward Democrats. President Joe Biden won there by 10 percentage points in 2020. But just last year Republican Glenn Youngkin — who focused on local issues such as school curriculum while keeping Trump at a cautious distance — won the governorship in a closely fought race, raising GOP expectations in swing districts this year.
In the Virginia 2nd, Kiggans a Navy veteran and nurse practitioner, led the four-candidate field in fundraising and had strong backing from national party figures such as Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 Republican in the House. Others competing in the primary included Tommy Altman, Andy Baan and Jarome Bell. Luria, the Democrat whom Kiggans will now aim to unseat, is among the members of the House Jan. 6 committee that has been holding public hearings on the insurrection by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.
“There was not a single person I talked to or a single door I knocked on where someone wanted to talk about the January 6th commission,” Kiggans told The Washington Post while greeting voters at a polling site Tuesday. “They want to talk about gas prices and grocery prices and the economy, the economy, the economy. They want to know what we’re going to do to lower gas prices, which really affects the price of everything.”
Vega, the GOP winner in the Virginia 7th district Tuesday night, had been a leader in a Latino coalition that worked to elect Youngkin last year. Among her top rivals were state Sen. Bryce Reeves and Army Special Forces veteran Derrick Anderson.
Also on the ballot Tuesday was a runoff in Georgia’s Democratic primary for secretary of state. State Rep. Bee Nguyen defeated former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, NBC News projects, and will face Raffensperger.