(May 4) MOBILE, Alabama — Political endorsements often don’t matter much in swaying voters’ decisions, but Senate candidate Katie Britt on May 3 secured an affirmation that could prove unusually significant in the nationally watched Republican primary race in Alabama.

The endorsement in this coastal city came from Sandy Stimpson, who may just be the best current mayor in the United States. A conservative Republican elected three times in a black-majority city, Stimpson is a unifying and even beloved figure among all of the otherwise-warring Republican subgroups from pro-Trump to Never Trump, Tea Party to establishment, blue-collar to professional. Although a youthful 70, he is seen as having no calculating designs on higher office, so an endorsement from him is seen as sincere rather than self-seeking — sort of a political Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

Stimpson’s endorsement won’t in itself make people change allegiances, but it could prove an important factor for undecided voters thinking, but previously not certain, that Britt might be worthy of support.

As the former board chairman of a conservative state think tank that tackles local, state, and national issues, Stimpson cited Britt’s ability to see the interrelatedness of the three realms of public policy. While Britt hails from the inland parts of the state rather than the coast, sometimes a large divide in Alabama, Stimpson said he has been impressed, in working with her for years, that “she really understands the things [economic development, local issues] particularly driving this part of the state … and she takes a vast amount of knowledge with her to D.C. And she is a leader. She is a team builder.”

Britt, at age 40, already is a former chief of staff for retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and a former president of the Business Council of Alabama. She exudes an almost dizzying energy and an intensity that is almost, but definitely not quite, off-putting. Her words flow in a torrent, with voluminous statistics and reasoned arguments and conservative lingo all intertwined complicatedly. Somehow, though, she remains able to be well understood by listeners, with her message’s internal logic perfectly intact and compelling….

[Post-column note: Shortly after this column ran, a new poll for the Alabama Forestry Association, conducted by a key national pollster who also works for former President Trump, found that Britt has opened an 11-point lead.]

[For Quin’s full column, please follow this link.]


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