BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With the primary election about three months away, the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama is heating up as three candidates compete for the spot to replace Sen. Richard Shelby. 

Political Analyst Steve Flowers says this election could be the most costly the state has ever seen.

“This is going to be, and if it’s not already, with three months left to go, the most expensive political race in the history of Alabama,” Flowers said.

Former aide to Sen. Shelby, Katie Britt has so far raised the most money, according to Federal Election Commission filings ending in 2021 showing more than $4.9 million in contributions.

Britt says her campaign is focused on meeting with voters across the state.

We visited all 67 counties right at the beginning of the campaign and made sure we met people all across the state, and we’re going to continue doing that. Continue being out, listening to the voters, meeting them, getting our message out,” Britt said.

FEC filings show current U.S. Representative Mo Brooks has just over $2.1 million. 

At the state GOP winter meeting this weekend, Brooks expressed confidence in his campaign, saying his competitors’ spending is coming from outside groups.

“We’re being badly outspent for a variety of reasons, Political Action Committees by way of example, special interest groups for example,” Brooks said. “They don’t want Mo Brooks in the U.S. Senate because I do what’s in the best interest of America, not necessarily those special interest groups.”

Flowers says those third-party PAC’s are driving up the cost of the race.

“You see the ones already spending money, Club for Growth for Brooks, Young American Conservative PAC for Katie Britt, Patriot PAC for Durant, those special interest groups are where the money is coming from,” Flowers said.

Candidate Mike Durant, a military veteran and business owner has $4.3 million in total receipts.

He says his outside perspective is helping gain support in the campaign. 

“People are frustrated with what’s going on in D.C., that’s why I think I offer a great candidate solution,” Durant said.

The primary election is May 24.