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Katie Britt

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Katie Britt
Official portrait, 2023
United States Senator
from Alabama
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Serving with Tommy Tuberville
Preceded byRichard Shelby
Personal details
Born
Katie Elizabeth Boyd

(1982-02-02) February 2, 1982 (age 42)
Enterprise, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Wesley Britt
Children2
EducationUniversity of Alabama (BS, JD)
WebsiteCampaign website

Katie Britt (née Boyd; born February 2, 1982)[1] is an American politician, attorney and businesswoman. Since 2023, she has been serving as the junior United States senator from Alabama. Britt is a member of the Republican Party.

Britt was president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama from 2018 to 2021. She also was the chief of staff for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby from 2016 to 2018.

Early life and education[change | change source]

Britt was born as Katie Elizabeth Boyd[2] on February 2, 1982, in Enterprise, Alabama.[3][4] Her parents are Julian and Debra Boyd.[5] She grew up near Fort Novosel in Dale County, Alabama. She worked at her family's businesses when she was young.[6] Her father owned a hardware store and later a boat dealership, and her mother owned a dance studio.[7] Britt was a cheerleader and one of 19 valedictorians at Enterprise High School. After graduating in 2000,[2] she studied political science at the University of Alabama. She graduated from the university in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science. She later studied at the University of Alabama School of Law and graduated in 2013 with a Juris Doctor.[8][9]

Early career[change | change source]

After she graduated from the University of Alabama,[10] Britt became Richard Shelby's deputy press secretary in May 2004. She was later promoted to press secretary.[11] In 2007, she stopped working for Shelby to become a special assistant to University of Alabama president Robert Witt.[12]

After going to law school, Britt first worked at Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose LLP in Birmingham.[12] When that law firm shut down in March 2014, Britt and 17 other former employees joined the Birmingham office of Butler Snow LLP.[13] She started the firm's government affairs branch. In November 2015, Britt left Butler Snow and started working for Shelby again. She worked on his reelection campaign as the deputy campaign manager and communications director.[14][15]

In 2016, Shelby made Britt his chief of staff.[15] She became one of Shelby's most important advisors and head of his Judicial Nomination Task Force.[9]

In December 2018, Britt became the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.[16] She was the first woman to lead the organization.[17] As the leader of the Business Council of Alabama, she focused on developing the economy with tax incentives, and she addressed the state's prisons and participation in the 2020 United States census.[18] During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she led an effort to stop businesses from shutting down.[19] In April 2021, she was elected to the Alabama Wildlife Federation's board of directors.[20] Britt left the Business Council of Alabama in June 2021, while the news was wondering if she would become a candidate in the upcoming election for the U.S. Senate.[21][22][23]

U.S. Senate[change | change source]

Britt and her family at her inauguration in 2023 with Vice President Kamala Harris

2022 election[change | change source]

On June 8, 2021, Britt announced her candidacy in the Republican primary for the 2022 Senate election.[24][25] She had never run for public office before.[26] Britt has supported Donald Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.[27] On June 10, 2022, Trump endorsed Britt's campaign.[28] Britt won the Republican nomination on June 21, 2022, beating U.S. Representative Mo Brooks in the run-off. She won the general election in November 2022.[29]

After winning the election, Britt became the first woman to be elected as a senator in Alabama. All other female Alabama senators before her were appointed by the governor.[30] She was also the youngest Republican woman elected as a senator and the second-youngest woman ever elected as a senator, with Democrat Blanche Lincoln being the youngest.[31]

Tenure[change | change source]

Britt was sworn-in as Alabama's junior United States senator on January 3, 2023. Before taking office, she was picked to be a member of the Republican Party Advisory Council of the Republican National Committee.[32] Her first vote in the Senate was to oppose a Biden administration nominee to a position in the Department of Defense.[33] She visited the Mexico–United States border twice and co-sponsored eight bills in her first month as a senator.[34]

In February 2023, CoinDesk reported that Britt was one of three members of Alabama's congressional delegation who were given money by FTX, a defunct cryptocurrency exchange. The other two members that FTX gave money to were Robert Aderholt and Gary Palmer. When CoinDesk asked Britt's office about it, they said that the money was donated.[35] As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, she called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced budget each year. 22 other senators also called for the amendment. Britt said that the Biden administration did not have good plans for the budget.[36]

In March 2023, after Mexican law enforcement took control of a port in Quintana Roo, Mexico which was owned by the Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials Company, Britt and other members of Alabama's congressional delegation negotiated the withdrawal of the forces.[37] She called the takeover unlawful[38] and met with Mexican officials at the Washington, D.C. embassy, condemning the things done at the port.[37] The Mexican forces left the port by the end of the month.[39]

Response to the 2024 State of the Union Address[change | change source]

On March 7, 2024, Britt gave the Republican response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address, which he gave earlier that day. She gave criticism about Biden's policies on immigration and the economy.[40] While talking about the country's border with Mexico, she mentioned the story of a woman who was sex trafficked from the age of 12. In a TikTok video, journalist Jonathan M. Katz identified the woman as Karla Jacinto Romero.[41] Biden was not the president at the time, and Romero never entered the United States.[41]

Some reviews of her speech liked it, and some did not. Some people were bewildered and dismayed, including some Republicans.[42][43] The speech was praised by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell,[44][45] but received criticism from Alyssa Farah Griffin and Brendan Boyle.[46][47] Griffin criticized the decision to give the response from Britt's own kitchen.[46]

Personal life[change | change source]

Britt is married to Wesley Britt, a former NFL player. They met while studying at the University of Alabama,[48] and they got married on March 8, 2008.[49] They live in Montgomery, Alabama and have two children.[50][51]

References[change | change source]

  1. Quin Hillyer (June 30, 2021). "Katie Britt is a bright new face in Alabama Senate race". Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kirkland, Kay (May 17, 2000). "Enterprise High School Valedictorians Share Desire for Success". The Southeast Sun. Archived from the original on November 8, 2022. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  3. @KatieBrittforAL (February 2, 2022). "It's @KatieBoydBritt's birthday today! 🎉🎊🎂 Wish her a happy 40th below ⬇️ #alsen #alpolitics" (Tweet). Retrieved May 10, 2022 – via Twitter.
  4. Brand, Carole. "Enterprise Claims Proud Daughter: Katie Boyd wins first runner-up in America's Junior Miss". The Southeast Sun. Retrieved 2022-03-23.[permanent dead link]
  5. Quin Hillyer (June 30, 2021). "Katie Britt is a bright new face in Alabama Senate race". Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  6. Johnson, Lauren (March 2022). "'We need new blood': U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Katie Britt speaks in Opelika". OANow.com. Retrieved 2022-03-24.
  7. Lyman, Brian. "Katie Boyd Britt wants to solve the state's problems, but is that what Alabama wants?". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 2024-03-15.
  8. Cason, Mike (June 13, 2021). "Katie Britt says close call with Tuscaloosa tornado taught her that every day is gift". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Steve Flowers (February 26, 2019). "Alabama leads the way with female government leadership: Kay Ivey, Katie Britt, and Twinkle Cavanaugh". The Trussville Tribune. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  10. Oganovich, Nancy (July 21, 2021). "Former Alabama Senate Staffer Gives Mo Brooks Run for His Money". Bloomberg Government. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  11. Patton, Elizabeth (December 7, 2018). "Personnel note: Katie Britt leaves Richard Shelby's office to lead Business Council of Alabama". Alabama Today. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Moseley, Brandon (December 7, 2018). "Shelby's Chief of Staff Katie Britt chosen to lead Business Council of Alabama". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  13. Faulk, Kent (March 5, 2014). "Turn out the lights: Birmingham's Johnston Barton Proctor and Rose law firm shutting down". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  14. Brown Hollis, Erin (April 18, 2019). "Katie Boyd Britt is a 2019 Woman of Impact". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Lyman, Brian (July 25, 2021). "Katie Boyd Britt wants to solve the state's problems, but is that what Alabama wants?". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  16. "Business group taps new leader". The Tuscaloosa News. December 7, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  17. "Katie Britt chosen as first woman to lead BCA". AL.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  18. Stacy, Todd (December 19, 2019). "BCA's Katie Britt talks priorities and pitfalls for 2020". Alabama Daily News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  19. Ross, Sean (November 17, 2020). "BCA's Katie Boyd Britt spearheading 'Keep Alabama Open' campaign as other states shut down". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  20. "BCA's Katie Boyd Britt elected to Alabama Wildlife Federation Board of Directors". Alabama Political Reporter. April 27, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  21. "Katie Boyd Britt, possible U.S. Senate candidate, resigns as president of BCA". AL.com. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  22. "Business president resigns, could seek US Senate seat". apnews.com. Associated Press. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  23. "Katie Boyd Britt Resigns as President & CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, Is U.S. Senate Bid Next?". Alabama News. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  24. Walker, Charlie (June 8, 2021). "Katie Britt announces U.S. Senate candidacy". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  25. "Katie Britt officially announces she's running for Alabama Senate seat". AL.com. June 8, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  26. Swetlik, Sara (December 7, 2022). "Katie Britt, the 'girl from the Wiregrass,' on being first Alabama woman elected to US Senate". AL.com. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  27. "Katie Britt sees 'fraud' in Trump's election loss, vows to work for Alabama if elected to Senate". AL.com. March 23, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  28. Koplowitz, Howard (June 10, 2022). "Donald Trump endorses 'fearless America First warrior' Katie Britt in Alabama Senate race". AL.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  29. Swetlik, Sara (November 9, 2022). "Who is Katie Britt, Alabama's newest senator? What are her plans in Congress?". AL.com. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  30. Whites-Koditschek, Sarah (21 June 2022). "Katie Britt wins runoff, stands to become first woman elected senator in Alabama". AL.com. Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  31. Smith, Dylan (November 8, 2022). "'Mama on a mission': Katie Britt elected Alabama's next U.S. senator". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  32. Monger, Craig (November 29, 2022). "Katie Britt tapped to serve on new Republican Advisory Council". Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  33. Taylor, Daniel (January 23, 2023). "Katie Britt casts first vote as a U.S. Senator against Biden nominee for DoD post". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  34. Shipley, Austin (February 10, 2023). "Britt 'hits the ground running' in first month". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  35. Taylor, Daniel (February 6, 2023). "Aderholt, Britt, Palmer among 196 U.S. Congress members who received funds from FTX". 1819 News. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  36. Thomas, Erica (March 15, 2023). "U.S. Sen. Britt blasts Biden's 'unserious budget,' joins forces to require balanced budget every year". 1819 News.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Monger, Craig (March 28, 2023). "Alabama's congressional delegation meets with Mexican officials; Vulcan port no longer under control of Mexican military or police". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  38. Taylor, Daniel (March 20, 2023). "Britt decries 'unlawful' seizure of Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials' facility in Mexico – 'Mexico should be more focused on going after the cartels than law-abiding businesses'". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  39. Stacy, Todd (March 28, 2023). "Mexican authorities withdraw from Vulcan facility". Alabama Daily News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  40. Pecorin, Allison (March 8, 2024). "'Nightmare': Sen. Katie Britt paints bleak picture of America in Republican response to Biden". ABC News. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Kessler, Glenn (March 9, 2024). "Katie Britt's false linkage of a sex-trafficking case to Joe Biden". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 9, 2024. Retrieved March 9, 2024.
  42. Alfaro, Mariana; Wang, Amy B. (March 8, 2024). "In a rebuttal to Biden, Sen. Katie Britt says the world 'deserves better'". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  43. Pengelly, Martin (March 20, 2024). "Republicans baffled by Katie Britt's State of the Union response: 'One of our biggest disasters'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 9, 2024.
  44. Hulse, Carl (March 15, 2024). "When Debuts Flop: Katie Britt Is the Latest in a Long Line of Botched Opening Acts". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2024.
  45. Calabro, Elaina Plott (March 9, 2024). "Katie Britt's Strange Speech". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Weaver, Al (March 8, 2024). "Britt goes after 'dithering, diminished' Biden in State of the Union rebuttal". The Hill. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  47. Boyle, Brendan (Mar 7, 2024). "This speech by Katie Britt is the worst overacting since Ishtar. Even Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio are laughing. #SOTU24".
  48. Cason, Mike (November 8, 2022). "Katie Britt wins: Makes history, becomes Alabama's first woman elected to U.S. Senate". AL.com. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  49. "I can't believe today marks 14 years of being married to my best friend!". March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2023 – via Twitter.
  50. "Read Sen. Katie Britt's full response to the State of the Union". PBS NewsHour. 2024-03-07. Retrieved 2024-03-16.
  51. "Britt Puts Another Crack in the Glass Ceiling as Chief of Staff – Community Affairs | The University of Alabama". University of Alabama. Retrieved March 18, 2022.