Over the past few months, buzz has swirled about GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Mike Durant's lack of participation in Republican primaries dating back to 2008, the last one in which Durant participated.

During a meeting of the Republican Women of North Shelby County earlier this week, Durant acknowledged he had not participated in a GOP primary as of late but offered attendees an explanation.

According to Durant, running a business and raising a family prevented him from voting in those primaries, adding that there was no time to vet the candidates, and therefore he sat the primary out.

"So, I voted in 2016 and 2020 straight Republican all the way," Durant said. "Obviously, President Trump was on the ballot both times. Let me explain a thing about primaries -- and all I'm going to do is be honest. I was a Warrant Officer. If there are any military folks in here, they will tell you that Warrant Officers are known for a couple of things. We are pretty squared away in whatever it is we do. We are the experts, and we tell the Commander the straight story. We just tell it like it is. So, I have been in this political world now for about six months, and I've met a lot of the candidates personally and heard a lot of them talk multiple times. And I still don't know who to vote for.

"I really don't. It's a very difficult thing, and as a business owner raising a family, I didn't feel like I had the time to truly understand who the candidates were in the primary. What I cared about is the Republicans won in the general [election]. That's what I cared about. I'm not going to cast a blind vote for people I can't fully vet. I just didn't have time to do it. That's just the reality. I was focused on growing a business from zero to 700 people in 14 years. If you've ever done that -- there's probably very few of you in this room that can say you have. That is a full-time job, 24/7 around-the-clock, and that's what I was focused on, and that's where my priority was."

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