POLITICS

Brooks refocuses on Senate bid, after being targeted in shooting attack

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks returns this weekend to electoral politics, asking for support for a Senate bid just days after he and several other congressional Republicans were attacked by a sniper in a northern Virginia baseball field.

“I'm running for the Senate because the president needs real conservatives backing him up,” Brooks said Saturday in a fundraising letter, three days after he and 18 others GOP lawmakers were attacked while practicing for an annual Capitol Hill baseball game in which Democrats verse Republicans.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was critically wound in the Wednesday morning attack, allegedly carried out by Illinois resident and progressive Jame Hodgkinson, whose social media postings have been linked to anti-Republican, anti-President Trump rhetoric.

Hodgkinson was fatally shot by police in the attack on the lawmakers.

Brooks is among the most conservative House members, and his name was on a list of six GOP congressional lawmakers found in Hodgkinson’s possession, officials said.   

“No room for Democrat-lite Republicans,” Brooks, a four-term House member, also says in the fundraising letter. “No room for people willing to throw in the towel when the Fake News Media criticizes them.”

Capitol Hill Democrats and Republicans, in the aftermath of the shootings, called for a political truce and less political vitriol, in an attempt to stop such incidents.

"We are all friends. We are all members of Congress," New York GOP Rep. Chris Collins said Saturday of Fox News' "Fox & Friends."

Brooks is running in a special election in August for the Senate seat left open by Republican Jeff Sessions, a close political ally and now the U.S. attorney general.

Sessions was considered the Senate’s strongest opponent to illegal immigration. He failed to stop the chamber from passing comprehensive immigration reform, which would have allowed some illegal residents to remain in the United States.

But Brooks helped lead efforts to keep the GOP-House from passing such reform.

Brooks’ campaign could not be reached Saturday for comment.

Sessions’ Senate seat is now occupied by former state Attorney General Luther Strange, appointed in February by then-Gov. Robert Bentley.

The situation has raised some concerns, considering Bentley resigned a few months later amid a scandal involving a female political consultant that Strange had investigated.

However, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group that helps elect and reelect members to the Senate, still apparently has put its support behind Strange.

The group has warned political consultants about working for Strange’s primary rivals. And the powerful super PAC Senate Leadership Fund has put millions behind Strange, according to Politico. The group also could not be reached Saturday for comment.

Senate Republican leaders purportedly have concerns about the strongly-conservative Brooks interfering with their agenda.  

Republicans are expected to keep the seat in conservative-leaning Alabama. But the crowed August primary, which includes former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, is expected to result in a September runoff between the two top GOP vote-getters.