HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt declined News 19 and the Alabama Republican Party’s offer to participate in a debate with her opponent, Rep. Mo Brooks.
News 19 and the Alabama Republican Party were planning to host a debate that would be televised statewide on all Alabama Nexstar Media Group, Inc. stations.
The invitations were sent out to each campaign following the primary election on May 24. Brooks accepted shortly after they were sent, and Britt’s campaign declined on Wednesday.
This was the second attempt at planning a U.S. Senate debate by the groups. The first attempt was before the primary election, between Britt, Brooks, and then-candidate Mike Durant. Brooks accepted, Britt accepted on the contingency that Durant would participate, and after several weeks, Durant declined.
Britt and Brooks are campaigning for the chance to fill retiring Sen. Richard Shelby’s seat.
Britt, a former aide to Shelby and former President of the Business Council of Alabama received 45% of the vote in the primary election. She received around 100,000 more votes than Brooks.
When asked why she declined the invitation her campaign manager, Sean Ross, sent the following response:
“Mo Brooks doesn’t want a debate; he wants a circus. That’s the only thing he’s capable of. He doesn’t want to talk about his do-nothing record, because he hasn’t accomplished anything for Alabamians throughout his 40 years living off the taxpayer dime. Instead, Mo Brooks will undoubtedly resort to embarrassing our state with false, desperate personal attacks. We are seeing his lies get more blatant by the day, and there is no way that a constructive or substantive debate can occur with his continually devolving behavior. Katie won’t participate in the final circus act of Mo’s career — she will continue to work tirelessly and travel to every corner of Alabama to share her conservative message, listen to Alabamians, and answer their questions. Alabamians are rallying behind Katie’s campaign because they want fresh blood and they know she is the best candidate to defend our Christian conservative values, fight for the America First agenda, and preserve the American Dream for our children and our children’s children.”
Brooks, a Huntsville native and current U.S. Representative received 29% of the vote in the primary election.
His campaign had the following response when told there would not be a debate:
“Katie Britt doesn’t want to debate because she’d have to answer for having supported higher taxes, abortifacients for teenagers, and her years as an open borders Chamber of Commerce lobbyist,” Brooks’ campaign manager, Will Hampson, said in a statement to News 19. “Britt is hiding because she’s scared of her record, but Mo Brooks is proud of his and is ready to debate her any time, anywhere. If she gets permission to debate from Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and her other RINO funders, she’ll know where to find us.”