Jessica Taylor exits U.S. Senate race, endorses candidacy of ‘political outsider’ Mike Durant

By Dylan Smith January 4, 2022

HUNTSVILLE — During a Tuesday morning meeting of the Republican Women of Huntsville, Jessica Taylor announced the end of her U.S. Senate candidacy and endorsed her former opponent, “Black Hawk Down” U.S. Army aviator Mike Durant.

The announcement comes on the heels of Durant this week launching his campaign’s “Alabama First” tour, which will soon see the candidate make stops in Alabama’s Wiregrass region. Taylor was a 2020 candidate for Alabama’s second congressional district, which encompasses Durant’s upcoming campaign stops.

Durant also plans to officially qualify as a candidate for the U.S. Senate Tuesday afternoon at the Alabama Republican Party headquarters in Birmingham.

According to recent independent polling, Durant sits in third place with 16.6% of support among likely Republican primary voters, polling behind U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former Business Council of Alabama CEO Katie Britt.

The poll, conducted in early December, showed Taylor garnering 4% of support among the Republican base.

Durant has centered his campaign platform around combatting President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. A first-time candidate, Durant is running as a candidate that is willing to take on “career politicians.”

In announcing the endorsement, Taylor asserted that her support for Durant’s candidacy stemmed from his standing as a “political outsider.”

“I ran for office because we need more political outsiders who will stand up to the radical left and career politicians. Mike Durant is the political outsider that Alabama needs in Washington, and I am proud to endorse his campaign for United States Senate,” proclaimed Taylor. “Mike has spent his life serving our country and building a successful business. Like President Trump, Mike will use his business experience and outsider perspective to deliver for Alabama and drain the swamp. I look forward to supporting Mike’s campaign and sending him to Washington for one more mission.”

Durant expressed appreciation to Taylor over the endorsement and indicated that he would be a change agent as a member of the upper chamber of Congress.

“I’d like to thank Jessica Taylor for all that she has done for conservatives in Alabama and for her support of our growing campaign,” stated Durant. “For too long, career politicians who have never held a real job in their life have made poor decisions that have left Alabama families behind and put America last. I’m running to change that.”

The primary election is slated to occur on May 24, 2022.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

ABOUT MIKE DURANT

On October 3rd, 1993, during combat Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu Somalia, “Super Six Four,” the Blackhawk helicopter flown by Mike Durant, was hit by an RPG and crashed in the city.

Mike and and his crew, Ray Frank, Bill Cleveland, and Tommy Field, all badly injured, fought for their lives as a violent mob approached. Witnessing what was about to happen from above, two members of the elite Special Operations unit Delta Force – MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart – volunteered to be inserted to defend them. They too were eventually overcome by the mob.

But Mike Durant, somehow survived, was captured and held as a POW by Somali General Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

The heroic actions of Gordon and Shughart – who were both posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor – are the reason Mike is alive today. Mike has seen sacrifice – fellow service members who put honor, country, and mission above all else. He knows firsthand that the United States leaves no one behind.

While in captivity, Mike heard the voice and promise of Dan Jollota broadcast from the sky:

“Mike Durant, we will not leave without you.”

Now, Mike is signing up for one more tour of duty to serve his country and Alabama in the United States Senate.

He’s watched as the Biden administration has deserted these core principles – abandoning our allies, along with American citizens, in Afghanistan; cowering to the influence of the Chinese as they evade responsibility for the Wuhan Virus; and letting the radical left open our borders and try and re-define the essence of what America stands for through misguided and distorted revisions of our history like “critical race theory”.

Mike believes that President Trump was the first President in his lifetime who always pushed for policies that put America first. That’s because he knows that America is more than just a country – it is a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire world.

President Trump knew it, Mike Durant lived it. And he will carry that vision forward in the U.S. Senate.

Mike Durant was released from captivity in Somalia after 11 days. He would later write a book titled In the Company of Heroes, about his experience on that mission in Somalia and the many other missions he participated in during his career. He also wrote The Night Stalkers, about the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in which he served.

After retiring from the Army with 22 years of active-duty service, Mike moved to Alabama with his family to start a new chapter in his life. He started and grew a highly successful business – Pinnacle Solutions, an engineering and services company based in Huntsville.

In thirteen years, Pinnacle has grown from a home office-based startup to over 500 employees and more than 175 subcontractor personnel operating in sixteen US and international locations with major prime and subcontract efforts supporting the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, NASA and the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics and a Master of Business Administration in Aviation degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mike’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with Valor device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, one with Valor device, the POW/MIA ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and numerous other awards.

He and his wife Lisa (also an Army Aviator) reside in Huntsville and have a family of six children, four boys and two girls, three grandchildren and a fourth on the way.