U.S. Senate candidate Jessica Taylor announced on Tuesday that she is withdrawing from the Senate campaign and is endorsing veteran Mike Durant for the open U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), who is retiring at the end of his current term.
“Mike Durant is a war hero who gave his all for this country,” Taylor said.
Taylor made her announcement while speaking with the Huntsville Republican Party at their January Meeting at the Ledges Clubhouse.
“Jessica, I thank you so much for your support,” Durant said. “I am very appreciative of your endorsement.
Taylor called out other Republican candidates for the Senate seat.
“As much as I would like to go up there and be Kamala Harris’ worst nightmare because that is what I would be, we must not let this go to professional politicians," Taylor said, referring to Mo Brooks.
“We cannot let this seat go to Common Core Katie,” Taylor said referring to Katie Boyd Britt. “I have decided to endorse Mike Durant.”
Durant was shot down over Mogadishu during the Somalia campaign and taken prisoner by Somali insurgents.
“I was called in to replace one of the aircraft that was shot down,” Durant said. “They shot over 175 rocket-propelled grenades at us. I was eventually hit in the tail.”
The two Delta Force members, Sergeant First Class Randall Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, who defended a badly wounded Durant, held off the angry mob until they were eventually overrun. Both were killed.
“I would not be here without Randy and Gary,” Durant said. Both received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Durant said that the mob unleashed its fury on the Americans when they were overrun.
“I lived because they needed a prisoner,” Durant said. “I was held for eleven days and then released.”
Durant wrote a book about his experience, which is part of the basis for the movie “Blackhawk Down.”
After recovering from his injuries and being discharged, Durant moved to Alabama and started a business.
“My business is essentially an aerospace company,” Durant said. “I am very proud of it."
Some critics have pointed out that his company is a defense contractor which does a lot of work for the Department of Defense, which would be a conflict of interest for a U.S. Senator.
“I transferred ownership to the employees so I could run for this seat,” Durant said announcing that he no longer owns his company. “They earned it and they deserve it.”
Durant said that he was angry when President Joseph R. Biden (D) withdrew U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
“I was livid and we all should be livid because it took away the most important tool in our toolbox, which is our credibility,” Durant said. “People are not going to follow us because we did not fulfill our commitment to them and to the veterans who suffered and died there – over 4,000 American servicemen and women were lost there.
Durant said that he is for term limits.
“I very much appreciate your support,” Durant said to Taylor.
Taylor is a businesswoman whose company assists people.
About 120 Republican Women, associate members, and their guests were in attendance for Tuesday’s luncheon.
Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) is a former State Senator who was at this event campaigning for Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District. Incumbent Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) is not seeking reelection as he is running for U.S. Senate.
Durant said that he does not support Mo Brooks, “Not just because I am running against him; but because he is a career politician.”
Durant said that serving in the Senate should be about going to Washington to perform service and not about getting a lifetime job.
The Republican primary is on May 24.