Republican Lynda Blanchard plans to end her Alabama US Senate bid and instead run for governor, according to three people familiar with the matter. She is expected to announce her campaign against GOP Gov. Kay Ivey next week.
Blanchard served as then-President Donald Trump’s US ambassador to Slovenia, former first lady Melania Trump’s native country. She was a major donor to Trump and loaned her Senate campaign over $5 million.
The Blanchard campaign declined requests for comment.
CNN reported last week that Trump has met with Blanchard and has been receptive to the prospect of her running for governor. Trump has told associates he blames Ivey for the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Commission’s decision to prevent him from holding a pre-July 4 rally over the summer at the state-owned facility.
Blanchard’s Senate campaign has lagged that of Rep. Mo Brooks, whom Trump endorsed, and Katie Boyd Britt, a former chief of staff to Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring in 2022 and supports Britt’s campaign for his seat.
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