The rise, fall and (sort of) rise of Mo Brooks explains GOP gun politics

Standing on the Capitol steps in late April, Rep. Mo Brooks (R) predicted his political revival in the Alabama Senate race because one of his Republican challengers had committed a conservative apostasy: hypothesizing about seizing guns to reduce crime. On Tuesday, hours after another massacre carried out by a gunman, Brooks’s prediction turned into prophecy as he surged into second place in the state’s Republican primary and advanced to a runoff race next month to determine the GOP nominee. Brooks finished with 29 percent in the initial primary ballot, as first-time candidate Mike Durant, a businessman and former Army pilot who once embraced the idea of disarming Americans living in cities, sunk to 23 percent. Katie Britt, a former top aide to retiring Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R), finished with 45 percent and will square off against Brooks in a June 21 runoff election. The onetime front-runner had been left for politically dead two months ago after former president Donald Trump revoked his endorsement. Now, with turnout likely to be much less next month than the almost 650,000 who voted in Tuesday’s primary, some Republicans are not counting Brooks out. “He’s got a base that’s going to go vote,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who won a GOP runoff two years ago, said on Wednesday. The rise, fall and semi-rise of Brooks encapsulates the power that gun rights hold inside Republican politics, particularly in deep-red southern and western states and despite national polling showing overwhelming support for some restrictions on […]

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