Politics in Alabama have long given voters short-shrift. Candidates who presumably have little to offer build their campaigns on hot-button issues that often would be far beyond their influence, or spend their time and resources trying to destroy their opposition. By Election Day, it’s often the lesser of evils that rises to victory. Voters wind up voting against a candidate rather than for one.
Although the 2022 election is more than a year away, the news that longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby would not seek another term brought out two candidates for the GOP primary — Lynda Blanchard, who served as ambassador to Slovenia in the Trump administration, and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who is among several people being sued for their roles in fomenting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Brooks has the endorsement of Trump, whose political capital has diminished since he decamped to Mar-a-Lago, which surely must’ve stung Blanchard, a presidential appointee. Voters who’ve paid attention will recognize Brooks as a what-you-see-is-what-you-get candidate while Blanchard has little name recognition.
Voters who have hoped for a better prepared candidate will be pleased by the entry of former Shelby chief of staff Katie Boyd Britt in the U.S. Senate race. With her tenure at the right hand of the state’s senior senator, and her stint at the helm of the Business Council of Alabama, Britt brings competency to the race.
We hope Britt’s candidacy encourages more capable and civic-minded candidates, be they Republican, Democrat, or independent.
Voters deserve a strong stable of choices for our elected leadership positions. We should never find ourselves in the position of choosing a candidate simply because they’re not their opponent.