The race to replace Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby has been dominated by Katie Britt, Mo Brooks, and Mike Durant, but there are other candidates who are not getting as much attention.

One of those names who will appear on the May 24th Republican primary ballot is Mobile businesswoman Karla Lambert Miller DuPriest.

DuPriest spoke with 1819 News last week about her candidacy.

“I believe we can take a new vision to Congress,” DuPriest said.

“We can agree to disagree," DuPriest said of the rancor between Democrats and Republicans. “What is important is working for the best interest of the country.”

DuPriest is a small businesswoman who has been very active in Republican politics for 32 years.

She worked for the U.S. Congress as a District Manager for Congressman Richard “Dick” Nichols (R-Kansas 05).

“I advised my member on all issues and national issues,” DuPriest said of her service in Congressman Nichols’ office.

1819 News asked how she could hope to win given the fundraising disadvantage she has with some of the other Senate candidates.

“Men and women of color can win with little support from their party,” DuPriest said.

1819 News asked DuPriest about how she would address the national debt.

“I am really concerned about the debt,” DuPriest answered. “We need to come together as a nation to address the debt as a nation."

DuPriest was also asked if that solution should be tax increases or cuts in government.

“As a small business owner, I know how burdensome taxes can be,” DuPriest said. “Overall, I would prefer that we not raise taxes.”

DuPriest founded Chris and Karla’s Heavenly Ribs LLC in 1998. It was the Mobile Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Month in 2009. She also opened up a Sears Authorized Catalog Sales Center, DuPriest Sales, in 1990.

Asked how difficult will it be to follow Richard Shelby in the Senate, DuPriest said, "We have been blessed with Sen. Shelby’s leadership in bringing businesses to Alabama. I would also be able to do that. He has done excellent work, but it takes the right person in the office.”

1819 News asked if she favored masks and COVID-19 vaccination mandates for school children.

“Absolutely not,” DuPriest said. “I believe in parental rights. I personally have had the vaccine and booster, but everyone should be free to make that choice on their own.”

DuPriest said that as a small business owner she opposed government shutdowns to control COVID-19.

“When you look at states that have stayed open versus those that have closed down,” the economy is doing better in the states that stayed open, DuPriest said.

As for representing farmers and forestry workers, DuPriest said, “My father was a logger and a small businessman. I would continue to advocate for our farmers.”

1819 News asked if, as a member of the Senate, she would caucus with the Freedom Caucus?

“I respect everything they have done,” DuPriest said. “I can’t say whether I will or I won’t. I need to listen to the people of Alabama and see what they want. I am their voice.”

DuPriest said that as a mother of a disabled veteran, “How we treat our veterans is unacceptable.”

DuPriest said that she will be an advocate for the space program.

“It has given us many things to improve our lives, including cell phones,” DuPriest said. “You have to have a vision.”

“I am a loyal Republican,” DuPriest said listing her accomplishments with the party.

In 2013, DuPriest was a volunteer for Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s campaign in charge of absentee ballots. From 2013 to 2016, she was a member of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee. From 2014 to 2016, she was the treasurer of the Azalea City Republican Women. In 2018, she was appointed to the Republican State Executive Committee by Chairman Terry Lathan.

DuPriest is also involved in local government, having served from 2016 to the present as the absentee ballot manager for the Mobile County Probate Court, and from 2020 to the present, she has served as the Mobile County Land Commissioner.

DuPriest is married to Christopher Miller. She has eight children and 12 grandchildren.

DuPriest grew up in Mobile as Karla Lambert. She has a 1988 bachelor of science degree from the University of Arkansas. She is a 1979 graduate of Williamson High School.

“I have a love for the people of Alabama,” DuPriest said when asked why she was running for the Senate.

The Republican primary field is very crowded. The GOP candidates include Lillie Boddie, Britt, Brooks, Karla M. Dupriest, Durant, and Jake Schafer.

The Republican primary will be on May 24.

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