BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A graduate of Auburn University and former ambassador to Slovenia for the Trump administration has announced her run for the Alabama Senate seat that will soon be vacated by Richard Shelby.

Lynda Blanchard, CEO of the nonprofit 100X Development Foundation, made her announcement on YouTube Thursday. Her announcement comes as incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby announced that he would not be seeking re-election.

“Today, I begin a new journey: a bid to earn your trust and your vote to serve as the next United States senator from our great state: Alabama,” she said in the statement.

Blanchard graduated from Auburn University in 1991 and served as the ambassador to Slovenia from 2019 to 2021. Slovenia is the birth country of former First Lady Melania Trump.

Last July, Blanchard made headlines when she was thanked by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic for assisting him in returning to Slovenia during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to be with his family.

The election will be held November 8, 2022.