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Former NFL player launches bid for newly drawn Alabama congressional district in potential blow to Dems

FIRST ON FOX: An Alabama football star who went on to play in the National Football League (NFL) is looking to earn support from voters in Alabama’s newly drawn 2nd Congressional District as he seeks election to the U.S. House.

Wallace Gilberry, a Republican, will formally announce his candidacy in the race Wednesday morning.

A native of Bay Minette, Alabama, Gilberry told Fox News Digital he’s looking to “fire” President Biden and push back against liberal Democrats’ hold on Black Americans as a voting bloc.

“I’m running because Joe Biden and the liberal politicians have let down my community and failed Alabama. Folks here at home are hurting and too many politicians don’t understand that – I see it every day,” he said. “My mission is simple: we’ve got to fire Joe Biden, beat back the liberals who have held down the Black community for too long, put the people of Alabama first, and help President Donald J. Trump Make America Great Again.”

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Alabama’s Second Congressional District, which previously covered southeast Alabama, now extends across the lower portion of the state from the Georgia line to the Mississippi line. Montgomery County and a northwest portion of Mobile County are included in the majority-Black district, which has a Black voting age population of nearly 50%.

Black voters remain a strong Democratic constituency in the Yellowhammer State, and the new district will favor Democrats as both parties battle for control of the House in 2024. However, Gilberry, an All-SEC standout at the University of Alabama who spent nine seasons in the NFL with various teams as a defensive end, believes he’s the candidate who’s got what it takes to defeat his challengers and come out on top.

“Out-of-touch, out-of-state Democrats wasted all kinds of time and money trying to buy themselves another seat in Congress because they take Black folks for granted and think we will all just vote Democrat. Problem for them is that Alabama can’t be bought,” he said. “A Black man is going to win this race – but it’ll be me, a conservative Republican who puts Alabama first.”

Recognizing the current state of the economy and financial issues that have plagued thousands of American families, Gilberry, one of five children who was raised by his great-grandmother and a single mom, said he’s focused on “lifting up” Alabamians and providing opportunities for minority children “that go beyond sports.”

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“My focus is on lifting up the people of Alabama. I’ve been blessed with incredible success, success that came from playing football. I’m running to have a platform to help create opportunities for young men who look like me that go beyond sports,” he said. “More jobs at local businesses, helping entrepreneurs thrive, keeping our communities safe. In order to do that we have to get rid of career politicians, get rid of Joe Biden, and elect people focused on putting the people of Alabama first.”

“I’m going to win this race by telling the truth and doing what’s right for Alabama, it’s pretty simple,” added Gilberry.

Gilberry, who spent nine seasons playing in the NFL before returning home to Alabama and reinvesting in his community, has seen his fair share of cultural and social issues on the national stage.

Highlighting two issues that have arisen in recent history, Gilberry slammed the attempted eradication of female sports, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement over its protest of kneeling during the national anthem.

“BLM has way more in common with the KKK than they do MLK,” Gilberry said. “While others were kneeling during the national anthem, my team was standing. We were united as a team, while others were focused on media attention and self-promotion – it was wrong then and it’s wrong now. I’ll always stand to honor those who keep us free.”

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“Allowing men to compete against women, that’s ‘abolishment’ of women’s sports, plain and simple. And we should never allow men into girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. We have to protect women and girls; we can’t let a sex offender put on a wig and lipstick and say he’s a female,” he added.

Gilberry, who grew up a Democrat before establishing his own beliefs about the political system, joins a crowded field of nearly two dozen challengers. All in all, 13 Democrats and eight Republicans have qualified to run for the seat.

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