Republican second district congressional hopeful Dick Brewbaker announced Thursday that former NFL and Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry, his former AL-2 opponent, has endorsed his candidacy.

Gilberry dropped out earlier this month and was a standout at the University of Alabama, playing for former Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

He also had a nine-year career in the National Football League.

In a statement, Gilberry said, "Dick Brewbaker is the clear choice to represent Alabama's 2nd District in Congress. He's the one candidate we can trust to put the people of Alabama first. Dick's priorities are our priorities, and we can accomplish them by working together. I give him my wholehearted endorsement."

Brewbaker and Gilberry expressed their shared goals of curbing inflation, lowering the cost of groceries and gas for Alabama families, securing the U.S. border and increasing penalties for drug and human traffickers.

Brewbaker is an experienced businessman and job creator who will focus on helping our entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive by creating more opportunities for all Alabamians, according to Gilberry.

"I'm honored and humbled to have Wallace's endorsement, but more importantly, his friendship and desire to work together to solve the problems we face as a country," Brewbaker said. "We stand for Liberty, Security, and Limited Government, and with the help of the people of this district, we will accomplish our common goals."

This race has yet to be as intense as many expected, with 21 candidates vying for the district. However, with just two months to go until the primary election, things are expected to heat up.

Gilberry concluded by saying, "Dick Brewbaker is a man of his word. He told the people of his senate district he was only to serve two terms and then actually did it!"

"When Dick Brewbaker told me he will stand up to anyone to protect our families and not just protect the value of a dollar, but to protect Alabama dollars and bring home the resources we need — we know that's what he'll do," he continued. "That's the kind of man I want representing my family in Congress — he's the kind of leader our district, our state, and our country needs."

Whoever wins the Republican primary will face a tough general election against the Democrat nominee in November. Since the federal courts redrew the congressional lines, the seat will play a part in deciding which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives. The Republican and Democrat national campaign machines are expected to invest heavily in their nominees.

The primary election will be held on March 5.

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