By Erica Thomas

A U.S. Senate candidate said every governor should follow the Texas governor's lead when it comes to pushing against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Lynda Blanchard, a former U.S. Ambassador, is running for Senate and made her thoughts clear on mandates. She said she believes the “tremendous overreach” is more than illegal.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Joe Biden’s Executive Order on vaccine mandates will be struck down in court," Blanchard said. "It’s such a tremendous overreach, far beyond what the Constitution allows our federal government to do.  Growing concerns about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness aside, the federal government does not have the absolute right to dictate our medical treatments, and that includes forcing us to take these vaccines.

Blanchard said she was pleased to see Alabama’s attorneys general working together to challenge the mandates. She said she noticed that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott went a step further than other governors.

“Governor Abbott’s Executive Order in Texas is an example other governors would do well to follow.  He not only barred any entity, including private businesses, from requiring vaccines for employees or customers, but he also added the issue to the Texas Legislature’s Special Session agenda.  I appreciate that he took immediate action to protect Texans, and also has required his Legislature to take up the issue.

“More of our elected leaders at all levels should follow Governor Abbott’s example and stand up for our Constitutional rights, freedoms, and liberties, especially as they apply to our health care choices.”

Blanchard is seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Richard Shelby, who is retiring. She faces several others in the primary Republican, including Katie Britt, Mike Durant, Mark Dunn, Mo Brooks and Jessica Taylor. Former Brighton Mayor Brandaun Dean is running for the Democratic nomination for Senate.

The Republican primary is May 24, 2022.