Lynda Blanchard, a Montgomery business executive who served as U.S. ambassador to Slovenia during the administration of former President Donald Trump, has begun her race to win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Alabama in 2022 by borrowing $5.11 million for her campaign.
Blanchard, 61, co-founder of real estate investment management company B&M Management, has loaned $110,000 to the campaign, which has also borrowed $5 million from Servis 1st Bank of Birmingham, according to the report she filed with the Federal Elections Commission for the first three months of this year.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville is the only other candidate to file with the FEC for the May 24, 2022, GOP primary for the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Shelby, declared contributions of $274,152 during the period. A number of others are expected to join the field.
Among those mentioned as potential candidates for the race have been Katie Boyd Britt, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, and speculated to be a favorite of Shelby; 6th District U.S. Rep, Gary Palmer of Hoover; 4th District Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville; and former U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Mobile, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP Senate nomination last year in a primary won by Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
The only Democrat to file so far is Brighton ex-Mayor Brandaun Dean. He reported no contributions for the first quarter of this year.
Blanchard and Brooks are staunch supporters of Trump, and they have begun with a contest over who’s the strongest supporter of the former president.
“I’m a Christian conservative and business builder, a mother of eight wonderful children,” Blanchard said in a video she released in February to kick off her campaign. “I’m a proud member of the MAGA movement. Like you, I’m grateful for the leadership and courage of our 45th president, Donald Trump.”
Brooks, 66, who has been equally effusive in his praise for Trump, has already won the endorsement of the former president.
The veteran north Alabama lawmaker has repeated Trump’s claim that the presidential election was stolen from him last year, and he delivered a fiery speech at a rally of Trump supporters in the lead-up to the insurrection on Jan. 6.
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks told the group protesting the certification of Joe Biden as president. “Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder! Will you fight for America?”
Blanchard was among six Republican candidates who paid to reserve ballrooms at Trump-owned clubs earlier this year, The Washington Post reported last month. Three weeks after her event at Mar-a-Lago, Trump endorsed Brooks for the Senate seat.
Reports filed by the two candidates for the period of Jan. 1 to March 31 showed Blanchard raised $5.42 million, spent $157,534 and had a cash balance of $5.26 million. The two loans made up the bulk of her fundraising.
Brooks reported receipts of $274,152, expenditures of $99,348 and a balance of $1.31 million. That total includes about $1.1 million left over from previous campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, where he has represented the Tennessee Valley area of north Alabama since 2011.
Following are names of contributors of $2,500 or more to Lynda Blanchard and Mo Brooks, candidates for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in the 2020 primary election. These contributions were made between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2020. No other Republicans have filed with the Federal Elections Commission as candidates.
Brandaun, the only Democrat who has filed with the FEC as a candidate next year, reported no contributions.
Servis 1st Bank, Birmingham, loan.
Blanchard, Lynda, Montgomery, loan.
Spira, Abraham, Spring Valley, NY.
Blanchard, Denise, New Braunfels, TX; Boehm, Richard, New Braunfels, TX; Buchan, Duke, Palm Beach, FL; Buchan, Hannah, Palm Beach, FL; Burnside, Cynthia, Montgomery; Burnside, Sheldon, Montgomery; Jones, Katherine, West Lake Hills, TX; Jones, Patton, West Lake Hills, TX; Miller, Pamela, Montgomery; Miller, Samuel, Montgomery; Needham, Steven, Dallas, TX; Needham, Valery, Dallas, TX; Powell, John, Fairhope; Powell, Peggy, Fairhope.
Capia, Don, Naples, FL; Carver, Roy, Muscatine, IA; Farhat, Anthony, Sanibel, FL; Phillips, Shana, Pike Road; Phillips, William, Pike Road; Rakolta Jr., John, Detroit, MI; Roe, Jeff, Houston, TX.
Justice Opportunity Strength Honor Pac (Joshpac), Hudson, WI.
Schneckenberger, Yvonne, Moody.
Blanchard, Alley, Pike Road; Blanchard, Ben, Montgomery; Blanchard, Haleyann, Denver, CO; Blanchard, Jennifer, Montgomery; Blanchard, Keren, Montgomery; Blanchard, Lucero, Montgomery; Blanchard, Mae Mae, Montgomery; Burnside, Kara, Montgomery; Burnside, Matthew, Hutto, TX; Burnside, Paul, Montgomery; Carver, Roy, Muscatine, IA; Connally, Joel, Montgomery; Crawford, Edward, Cleveland, OH; Crosby, K. Alton, Fitzpatrick; Evans, Randy, Atlanta, Ga; Fischer, David, Troy, Mi; Fischer, Jennifer, Troy, Mi; Hayden, Seth, Prattville; Haygood, E. Shelby, Gardendale; Heras, Benjamin, Hutto, Tx; Heras, Linsey, Hutto, Tx; Hey, Craig, Birmingham; Little, Jane, Montgomery; Pellerin, Christine, Bethesda, MD; Powers, Jeffrey, North Fort Myers, FL; Powers, Veronica, Fort Myers, FL; Sands, Carla, Camp Hill, PA; Williams, Michael, Montgomery; Zuckerman, Adrian, Chester, NJ.
Methvin, Amy, Montgomery; Methvin, Tom, Montgomery.
Fox, Brent A., Janesville, WI; Hendricks, Diane, Beloit, WI; Hendricks, Kevin J., Janesville, WI; Hendricks, Kimberlee, Janesville, WI; Long, Connie S., Florence; Long, Ralph, Florence; Luck, David, Fletcher, NC; Luck, Terri L., Fletcher, NC; McDaniel, Henri, Huntsville; Ryan, Michael, Kankakee, Il; Williams, John P., Huntsville; Williams, Lisa D., Huntsville; McDaniel, Mark, Huntsville.
Fredricks, Tom, Hartselle,
Story, Kendra A., Janesville, WI; Topper, Lewis, Jupiter, FL; Topper, Margaret, Jupiter, FL.
Wellborn, Paul, Cragford.
Packard, James B., Huntsville; Packard, Patricia L., Huntsville.
House Freedom Fund, Alexandria, VA.
Jernigan, W.C., Shoal Creek; Lee, Richard T., Orlando, FL.
Curt, Walter, Port Republic, VA; Johnson, Dean, Huntsville; Johnson, Valerie, Huntsville; McDonald, Stanton, Athens; Story, Michael W., Janesville, WI.
Boates, Timothy D., Gurley; Lamon, James, Kamas, UT.
Kamerman, Gary, Huntsville.