Retired NFL and University of Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry officially launched his campaign for Congress in the race for the newly-drawn second congressional district in Alabama on Wednesday.

The new federal court-ordered second district runs from Mobile County to the Georgia border and has a black voting age population of nearly 50%. Gilberry is one of eight Republicans to qualify to run for the seat, along with 13 Democrats.

"Out-of-touch, out-of-state Democrats wasted all kinds of time and money trying to buy themselves another seat in Congress because they take black folks for granted and think we will all just vote Democrat," Gilberry said. "Problem for them is that Alabama can't be bought. A black man is going to win this race — but it'll be a conservative Republican who puts Alabama First."

According to a campaign news release, Gilberry was raised as a Democrat but saw for himself how the liberal agenda and Democrat politicians were failing the country and taking his community for granted. 

Gilberry is a strong conservative who has always supported former President Donald Trump and is unapologetic about his support for re-electing Trump in 2024, according to a campaign news release.

"I've sacked Brady, Biden won't be a problem," Gilberry said.

Gilberry said he'd work to finish the border wall to stop illegal immigration, protect girls' sports, defend unborn life and lower the cost of living for Alabamians who are getting crushed every day by Biden's inflation.

"Folks here at home are hurting and too many politicians don't understand that — I see it every day," Gilberry said. "My mission is simple: we've got to fire Joe Biden, beat back the liberals who have held down the black community for too long, put the people of Alabama first, and help President Donald J. Trump Make America Great Again."

Gilberry is best known for playing defensive end as an All-SEC standout at the University of Alabama and nine seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions. His playing career overlapped with Colin Kaepernick, who generated controversy by kneeling during the national anthem before games and wearing socks that depicted police officers as pigs during practice. 

Gilberry adamantly opposed those selfish actions, according to his campaign.

"BLM has way more in common with the KKK than they do MLK," Gilberry said. "While others were kneeling during the national anthem, my team was standing. We were united as a team, while others were focused on media attention and self-promotion - it was wrong then and it's wrong now. I'll always stand to honor those who keep us free."

After retiring from football, Gilberry returned home to Lower Alabama and has been deeply involved in the Mobile community, helping start and grow local businesses and support charitable causes.

"I've been blessed in my life to make it to the top of every mountain I've set out to climb. Once you get there you can either choose to look down on everyone else or to pull more people up," Gilberry said. "I'm here to pull people up - from Mobile to Montgomery, from Troy to Tuskegee, we're gonna make Alabama better. I'm running because we all know that career politicians from both parties and the people in charge of this country don't care about Alabama. I know how great Alabama is, and how great we can be. I'm in this fight for Alabama."

The 2024 primary election in Alabama is on March 5. The primary runoffs are on April 16. The general election will be held on November 5.

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