House Armed Services Committee Member Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) announced Feb. 20 his intent to run for Senate office in 2020, with the goal of unseating Alabama’s sole Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Doug Jones.
Byrne, who was first sworn into Congress in 2013, made the announcement Wednesday in Mobile, Alabama. The Alabama primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020.
As a HASC member, Byrne recently supported President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund more barrier construction at the U.S.-Mexico border, and has been a longtime supporter of shipbuilding and missile defense funding.
He raised over $1.4 million in campaign contributions in the 2018 midterm cycle, according to the not-for-profit Center for Responsive Politics. The defense aerospace contractors were his top industry donors, providing $82,500 in PAC funds. “Miscellaneous Defense” companies and defense electronics firms were the fourth and fifth-largest contributors to Byrne’s campaign, donating $65,500 and $53,600 in the 2018 cycle, respectively.
Top contributors included Northrop Grumman [NOC], as well as Honeywell [HON], which each contributed over $15,000 for the 2018 election. Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], Boeing [BA] and Lockheed Martin [LMT] each contributed $10,000.
Byrne sits on the HASC Tactical Air and Land Forces and the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittees. His district is home to Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, as well as the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center.
Jones, who won former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R) seat in a 2017 special election, joined the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) in 2019 and serves on the Airland, Strategic Forces and Readiness and Management Subcommittees. His term ends in 2021, when Sessions’ original term is scheduled to expire.
In recent SASC hearings, Jones has expressed concern about the U.S. foreign military sales process, pressing U.S. Central Command Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel for suggestions on how to keep the FMS process responsive enough for global partners to continue to buy from the U.S. government, while keeping stringent processes in place to ensure weapons and equipment do not fall into adversaries’ hands.
Jones has raised $25 million through the end of 2018. Defense contractors have contributed over $82,000 to his campaign since 2013, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Boeing has contributed over $18,000 to Jones, including over $13,000 in individual donations, while NASA employees have donated $13,789 to the Alabama Democrat.