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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new candidate has thrown his hat in the ring to be Alabama’s next U.S. Senator. 

Mike Durant, a Huntsville businessman and military hero, made his announcement via a campaign video on YouTube.

Durant is most known for his time as a prisoner of war in Somalia in 1993. The crash, his capture, and his eventual rescue were re-enacted in the 2001 movie “Black Hawk Down.”

Since leaving the military, Durant started his own business in Huntsville. In 2003, he wrote “In the Company of Heroes” about his military service and his operation in Somalia. 

During his Senate announcement, Durant said the overreach of the Biden administration, specifically with the recent vaccine mandate, helped seal his decision to run.

“Pro-life, pro-Trump, America first, let’s get rid of big government, lower taxes, less regulation. All the things that I think resonate with the vast majority of the people of Alabama,” Durant said.

CBS 42 political analyst Steve Flowers said that with a crowded field vying for the Senate seat left by Richard Shelby, Durant faces an uphill battle. Others running for the seat include former Shelby staffer Katie Britt, Rep. Mo Brooks, former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard, businesswoman Jessica Taylor, veteran Mike Dunn, and Jake Schafer.

“The other four candidates have pretty much the same approach. They don’t have the personal history of being a military hero he has, but they have resources,” Flowers said.

Here’s a link to Durant’s video announcing his campaign:

Durant said once voters get familiar with him, they’ll know he’s the best choice for office.

“People are very familiar with the ‘Black Hawk Down’ story,” he said. “Once they connect me with that, the light will come on. They will realize that ‘Oh yeah, I know that guy.’ They are familiar with my military career, but I want them to understand that I have a business career and I know how to operate a business.”

Durant said he’s in the process of making his company employee-owned so he can dedicate more time and resources to serving the people of Alabama. 

The Republican primary is set for May 24, 2022. The election will be held on November 8, 2022.