Republican Lynda Blanchard is the first candidate to jump into the Senate race to succeed longtime GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.
“If you’re sick of career politicians, insiders and swamp creatures that stand for socialism or cheerlead censorship, then I’m asking for your vote to stand strong for Alabama by sending a true outsider to the Senate,” Blanchard said Thursday in a video announcing her candidacy.
The 61-year old Blanchard, who served as U.S. ambassador to Slovenia during the final two years of the Trump administration.
Shelby, who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee for much of the last ten years, had long been seen as likely to retire in 2022. He is the fourth most senior Republican. He has chaired several committees over the course of his career, including the powerful Appropriations Committee.
“Serving in the U.S. Senate has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Shelby said in a statement. “I have done my best to address challenges and find ways to improve the day-to-day lives of all Americans.”
“[I have] focused on the economic challenges of Alabamians, increasing access to education and promoting facilities to improve the quality of schools. I have worked to enhance Alabama’s role in space exploration and the security of our nation. Further, I have supported the utilization of Alabama’s greatest resources, including its unparalleled river system and the Port of Mobile,” he added.