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Yolanda Flowers Becomes First Black Female Dem Nominee For Gov. in AL

By Sarah Swetlik | sswetlik@al.com

Yolanda Flowers on Tuesday claimed victory in Alabama’s Democratic runoff election for governor against Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier of Selma.

Flowers won 55 percent of reported votes, according to a preliminary count. She is believed to be the first Black female nominee for governor from a major party in Alabama.

“I thank God for everything he’s done for us tonight, but the race isn’t over,” she told AL.com Tuesday night. “We still must continue on to encourage our citizens how important it is not vote for the betterment of our state.”

Flowers will face off against Republican incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey during the state’s general election Nov. 8. Ivey is heavily favored to win.

Flowers’ platform is based around the concept of “reconstruction” for the state, specifically in health care, education, criminal justice and the economy. She said she also hopes to raise the age for gun purchases in Alabama from 18 years old to 21, increase mental and behavioral health screenings for children in schools and raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Flowers has been adamant about a parole and prison accountability team as well as the implementation of the lottery in the state.

Sanders Fortier’s platform was “One Nation Under God: Building the Beloved Community.” She previously told AL.com she draws inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr. and other trailblazers, including campaign chairman and Freedom Rider Bernard Lafayette.

Republican Senate Runoff

In the Republican nomination for Senate, Katie Britt defeated six-term Congressman Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of rescinding his endorsement.

The loss ends a turbulent campaign for Brooks, a conservative firebrand who had fully embraced Trump’s election lies and had run under the banner “MAGA Mo.” But it wasn’t enough for the former president, who initially backed Brooks in the race to replace Britt’s former boss, retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, but then pulled his support as Brooks languished in the polls.

Trump eventually endorsed Britt in the race’s final stretch after she emerged as the top vote-getter in the state’s May 24 primary.

Trump initially endorsed Brooks in the spring of 2021, rewarding an ardent champion of his baseless claims of a stolen election. Brooks had voted against certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory and delivered a fiery speech at the rally before the U.S. Capitol insurrection, telling the crowd, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

But nearly a year later, Trump rescinded his support after the pair’s relationship soured and as the conservative firebrand languished in the polls. Trump blamed his decision on comments Brooks had made months earlier, at an August rally, when he said it was time for the party to move on from litigating the 2020 presidential race — comments Trump claimed showed Brooks, one of the most conservative members of Congress, had gone “woke.”

The move was widely seen as an effort by Trump to save face amid other losses, and Brooks alleged that it came after he informed Trump that there was no way to “rescind” the 2020 election, remove Biden from power, or hold a new special election for the presidency.