The news has been expected, and it finally happened last week: Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks announced his intention to run for the United States Senate.
This will be an expensive and contentious campaign to replace Sen. Richard Shelb and it will be a marathon race, with the Republican primary currently set for May of 2022 and the general election that following November.
Linda Blanchard, a former ambassador for President Donald Trump, has already put her name in the hat and is running television commercials.
You could see another half dozen individuals enter this race in the coming months, but few will have the name identification that Brooks has gotten with his fight this fall to overturn the fall presidential election generated national headlines and the ire of the mainstream media.
And any signs that President Trump will take a position on one of the candidates will be watched closely, as his endorsement of Tommy Tuberville was one of the keys to his ascension to the Senate seat he now holds. Yet it will also take millions of dollars to run an aggressive race that will reach voters in all corners of the state. Raising that type of money and gaining the name recognition means getting an early start on the campaign trail.
Yet there is a lot that can happen between now and the Spring of 2022, so for now we will watch for who else lines up at the starting gate for the long campaign ahead.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.