MONTGOMERY (AP) — Katie Boyd Britt, the former president of the Business Council of Alabama and longtime aide to Sen. Richard Shelby, has filed federal paperwork signaling her intention to run for U.S. Senate.

Britt filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the 2022 election. While she has not announced a run, it has been long speculated that Britt could vie for the Senate seat being vacated by Shelby.

She previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, who announced in February at the age of 86 that he would not seek a seventh term.

Britt resigned from BCA on Friday. In a statement, the business council said Britt was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

“One of my greatest prides at BCA has been bringing the previously forgotten back into the fold — our small businesses on Main Street, and the rural businesses and industry that are the heart beats of local communities in every corner of our great state,” Britt said in a statement.

Shelby’s departure will leave a power void — and set the stage for a crowded primary for the GOP nomination in the red state. Two Republicans have already officially entered the 2022 race.

Congressman Mo Brooks, who is armed with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, and Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman who was Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, are running for the seat.

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