Katie Boyd Britt announced Tuesday that she is stepping down as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, a decision that comes amid speculation that she will run for U.S. Senate.

BCA announced Britt’s decision in a statement and said her resignation is effective Friday. Britt has led the influential business lobby since 2019. 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.

While she has not announced a run, it has been speculated that Britt could run for the Senate seat being vacated by Shelby. The BCA statement said Britt is 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 about her departure from BCA.

“We have relentlessly fought for the things that matter most to hardworking Alabamians trying to earn livelihoods, build lives and raise families. Certainly, some of our toughest, yet most rewarding, battles have come the past year during the pandemic. We helped lead the successful charge to Keep Alabama Open, and spearheaded the push to protect businesses from frivolous COVID lawsuits.”

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