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MONTGOMERY — Katie Britt is the official winner of the U.S Senate race after a long and embattled campaign that saw her defeat Republican candidates Mo Brooks and Mike Durant throughout her run.

The race was called early in the evening after the votes poured in, overwhelmingly in Britt's favor.

Britt handily defeated Democratic candidate Will Boyd and Libertarian nominee John Sophocleus.

At an election party in downtown Montgomery, the leadership of the Alabama GOP, members of Alabama's House of Representatives and Senate, and many other prominent members of Alabama's political landscape attended the event. Britt addressed the cheerful crowd of supporters, opining on her future in the U.S. Senate. Joined by her husband, son, and daughter, Britt began thanking God for her victory and read a passage of scripture from 2 Corinthians 12:9.

"Thank you, Alabama," Britt said. "From the Shoals to the Shores, from the Gulf Coast to the Rocket City to the Wiregrass, and everywhere in between, you all gave me a shot. You gave me a shot to earn your respect and your vote. You allowed me to listen to you, to hear your story, to learn your concerns, to learn your dreams and what you hoped the future to be. You are what makes this state so special, and you are who I am so proud to be able to represent."

Britt praised her position as the first female Alabamian to be elected to the U.S. Senate, as well as her being the only woman in the Senate to have school-aged children.

"I don't take any of these things for granted, and the gravity of all of it is not lost on me," Britt continued. "I am humbled. I am honored and grateful. I want you to know I understand what a tremendous responsibility these milestones carry, and I do not take that lightly. But the one that matters the most to me is the first that we started this campaign with; it was our motto from the start: Alabama First. Well, I am here to tell you tonight that was not a campaign slogan; it was a promise. And it is going to be my mission every day as your United States Senator."

While remaining true to her campaign platform, Britt hammered home the issues such as education, veteran care, inflation, border security, support for law enforcement and national food security. She noted the fervor of parents like herself that "look around and don't recognize the country we know and love," who mobilized voters to vote.

"We want our children to live in safe and strong communities," Britt said. "We want our children to be educated and not indoctrinated. We want Alabama to be a place where our children want to raise their children long into the future."

"I am going to support peace through strength, ensuring our incredible men and women in uniform are the best equipped, resourced and trained in the world. I am going to ensure that our veterans get America's best because there is no doubt they gave us theirs, right? I am going to respect and back our courageous law enforcement officers who sacrifice every single day to keep our communities and our families safe. I am going to be a champion for hard-working farmers because I believe that food security is national security."

Britt signed off to the near-irrepressible crowd by thanking her family, friends, and campaign team, who she credited with the success of her run. She also gave a fond bon voyage to her predecessor, Richard Shelby.  

"Y'all, hope is on the horizon," Britt concluded. "Let's restore the shining city on a hill our country was not so long ago. We must lay a foundation that ensures all children across our state and nation have the freedoms and opportunities to do really incredible things. Our state, our nation, our children, they are worth fighting for. So, Alabama, let's do this."

Britt announced her candidacy in June of 2021, raising over $3 million by the last quarter of the year.

Britt, a former campaign manager for her predecessor Richard Shelby, will take office in January 2023.

Britt began pulling away early in the election, gaining endorsements from key Alabama politicians and groups.

The primary campaign was contentious among the three Republican candidates all the way up to the primary election.

Brooks consistently maintained that Britt was backed by significant money that was funding "dishonest attack ads" against himself and Durant.

Brooks even publicly called on the Alabama Republican Party to disqualify Britt on the eve of the runoff.

Durant made several claims against Britt, including that she had engaged in "anti-cop and anti-conservative 'Black Lives Matter' virtue signaling" for Britt and her husband reportedly participating in "Blackout Tuesday."

"Blackout Tuesday" was a "virtual moment of silence" over social media, created in support of Black victims of police violence spurred by the death of George Floyd and linked by some to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Britt, in turn, was critical of Durant's lack of desire to engage in a public debate with herself and Brooks before the primary. She was also critical of Brooks’ voting record on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Durant, a war veteran with no political experience, best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and captured in the events chronicled in "Black Hawk Down," showed promise at the beginning of the campaign but slowly dropped off as Britt gained momentum. Durant was eventually defeated, sending Britt and Brooks to a runoff.

Britt gained ground in the campaign as the primary election drew near. Her victory was virtually sealed when she earned the endorsement from former President Donald Trump, eventually giving her the nod as Alabama's GOP candidate.  

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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