MADISON, Ala. - State Senator Bill Holtzclaw surprised many by throwing his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional seat.
The announcement was made on a sweltering hot afternoon in Madison.
“I am here today to announce my candidacy for US Congress in the 5th congressional district”
The campaign launch took place at Holtzclaw's political birthplace, Madison City Hall. It was there where he served for two years as city councilman before being elected to two terms in the Alabama State Senate.
As a apart of Holtzclaw's announcement, he also announced he will not run for re-election for State Senate.
Mr. Holtzclaw would now like to go to Washington.
“I began to ask people whether or not they’d support me if I ran for this seat if it was potentially open. I had a groundswell of people say, will you please consider running regardless," says Holtzclaw.
He faces a popular four term incumbent, Congressman Mo Brooks.
"We felt like the representation of this district, folks are looking for an alternative, that was evidenced here tonight and it’s going to be evident in the weeks ahead," says Holtzclaw.
Two hours before Holtzclaw's announcement, there was already a chill in the air. Brooks and the State Senator sat less than an arm's length away from each other at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center announcement, earlier in the day Tuesday.
They didn't speak to each other.
That being said, Holtzclaw thinks there are clear differences between the two, that could help him pull a political upset.
"But what this district is lacking, is somebody working with those businesses large and small someone who is willing to engage on behalf of those businesses and make it a priorty to connect leaders across the 5th district with leaders in Washington," Holtzclaw told the crowd.
In his speech, Holtzclaw was also quick to push his support for President Trump and the military. we asked the State Senator if he felt like Congressman Brooks' support for the Commander-in-Chief was inadequate.
"Only Congressman Brooks could answer that," he replied.
Congressman Mo Brooks declined our request for an interview about Holtzclaw's announcement.
The candidate has launched his campaign website. You can see it for yourself by clicking here.