Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

As election season continues to heat up, one Republican incumbent running for reelection is Congressman Mo Brooks, a Republican who represents the 5th Congressional District in Alabama. On Monday, a political action committee that represents Alabama farmers known as Farm PAC, which previously endorsed Brooks in the 2018 primary and general election, endorsed Brooks’ primary challenger, Chris Lewis, a retired U.S. Navy Commander.

Lewis remarked, “We are honored and grateful to have earned the support of such an amazing group of Alabamians”

“As we look toward our future here in north Alabama, we are humbled to have such a wonderful base of support that knows what it means to serve and support the great people of our state and nation.

“Together, we’re ready to face and overcome any challenge, striving to create a better life for our children and grandchildren. I sincerely thank the great men and women of the Alabama Farmers Federation for their continued support and look forward to working together for an even brighter, safer and more prosperous future for north Alabama and our nation.”

Congressman Brooks also had a response. In a statement made to AL.com, he said the following, “I support border security and resulting higher wages and lower tax burdens for American families,” Brooks said. “I support fair trade agreements that cut the hundreds of billions of dollars of American wealth that is hemorrhaging each year to China and other bad trade partners. I support enterprises competing without taxpayer subsidies. Over time, these three stances have increasingly put my views at odds with a few politically activist farmers who want cheap foreign labor no matter the cost to taxpayers and who demand special treatment and subsidies from the federal government. While I respect what agriculture does for America, I will ALWAYS put America’s interests first.”

“I thank those farmers who agree, have supported me in the past and will support me again this year.

The director of the Alabama Farmers Federation, Mitt Walker, defended Farm PAC’s endorsement of Lewis. “We’ve got a process that we go through,”

“We are a grassroots organization and that’s not something we just give lip service to. We actually take direction from our counties and those congressional districts as to candidate they feel best reflects their values. In this case, the five counties in the 5th Congressional District, the majority of those decided to go a different direction in this election.”

“They take input form their individual members,” he said. “Those county boards will meet with the candidates or evaluate the candidates based on their policy positions and they make a recommendation to their county president, who in turn sends in paperwork to give us direction at the state level as to who they choose to endorse in those races.

“They’re going to look at the candidates based on positions, their personalities come into play, a variety of things. It’s essentially the folks they feel best represent their interest.”

Though, despite his defense of Farm PAC’s endorsement, he did not name any specific disagreements that farmers had with votes that Brooks has made during his time in Congress. “What I would say to that is our folks want to have a voice in Washington and they want the representative they feel will carry their message forward in Congress,” Walker said. “They feel like Chris Lewis is the guy to do the job for them.”

Dakota Layton
Dakota Layton is a Senior at UAH studying Philosophy and is also the President of the UAH College Democrats.