Republican insider former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R-Montgomery) said on Thursday that comments made by Mo Brooks for Senate campaign co-chair Stan McDonald about Senate candidate Mike Durant were “disgraceful.”

McDonald was speaking with North Alabama talk radio host Dale Jackson when he said that Mike Durant was “not right in the head.” 

Durant is a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot who was famously shot down over Mogadishu, Somalia, and then taken prisoner. The rest of his crew were all killed as well as two Delta Force members who came to their aid.

“I am really surprised at Stan McDonald for making such disrespectful statements about an American hero, Mike Durant,” Hooper told 1819 News. “I have always liked Stan but what he said was disgraceful. I’m very disappointed in Stan. I hope and pray that he apologizes to Mike.”

McDonald and Jackson were discussing comments made by former Congressman Parker Griffith (AL05) in which the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor has attacked Durant as having PTSD. Griffith is a doctor but not an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder. Griffith is a donor to Senate candidate Katie Boyd Britt.

Several Alabama talk radio hosts have said Britt should denounce Griffith.

McDonald disagreed.

“To me y’all I didn’t agree with you on this,” McDonald said. “I think that when Parker Griffith says what he says I believe that hurts Mike Durant. I am not endorsing it. I don’t want that to be the takeaway from this. But sometimes a guy like Parker Griffith will use some pretty inflammatory language and it gets through to the populace, kind of like Trump simply because he didn’t draw it within the lines. I do think, even though I wouldn’t use that language and I am not a doctor, I do think that there is something wrong very wrong in the mind of Mike Durant to say that you should disarm the population and try to win a Republican primary. So PTSD I am not going to use that language, but I think for anybody to get the message across like Parker Griffith did. Katie sees it as effective. I think it is effective because I think there is truth there in that he is not thinking right. To use layman’s terms. I don’t think the guy is right in the head. I really don’t. I believe that, and I believe that over time if he sticks around and God forbid if that guy is elected, I think that people will say that guy does not think right.”

Hooper told 1819 News that he has known McDonald for a long time and was shocked by his comments.

Polling has Durant leading the race for the U.S. Senate seat.

Incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) is retiring at the end of this term.

Lillie Boddie, Katie Boyd Britt, Mo Brooks, Karla Dupriest, Mike Durant, and Jake Schafer are all running in the May 24 Republican primary. The winner of the GOP primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the Nov. 8 general election.

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An earlier version of the headline on this story inadvertently referred to the Britt campaign rather than the Brooks campaign. The headline was corrected after original publication. 1819 News apologizes for the error.