Olivia Matherne / Contributing Writer
Rumors swirl among Alabama political circles as multiple “sources familiar with the matter” claim that Jeff Sessions, the Republican former U.S. attorney general is considering entering the already controversial Senate race. According to an initial report from political news outlet Politico, and supported by subsequent stories from CNN, The Hill, and Vanity Fair, Sessions is “strongly considering bid for old Senate seat in Alabama”.
Sessions would enter into an already crowded competition to be named the Alabama Republican Senate nominee in an attempt to replace Democrat Senator Doug Jones. The well-rounded group of Republicans vying for the same spot include Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, Secretary of State John Merrill, state Rep. Arnold Mooney and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Sessions is currently available to run a campaign for such an office after President Donald Trump sent him out of the White House with a slap on the wrist and blast on Twitter. In the earlier days of his time in the Oval, President Trump began his unmatched turnover trend with fleeting cabinet officials by asking his first attorney general, Sessions, to resign.
Tension between the pair arose from “Session’s decision to recuse himself from the DOJ’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election” which resulted in a “bitter, public falling out” recaps authors according to a Politico article. In typical form, the president responded in openly chastising his appointee through a series of Tweets.
Unless he has a major change of heart or becomes distracted by his job, the president “will 100% go after Jeff Sessions” if he runs, a “GOP source predicted” told CNN. Considering Trump’s popularity in the deep-red state, this is a major disadvantage to the seasoned politician.
For a brief refresher in local political recent history, Selma native Jeff Sessions held the Alabama U.S. Senate seat for 20 years before President Trump appointed him as Attorney General in 2017. The results of the special election held to fill this seat were unprecedented.
In a scramble of scandal, Jones, defeated Republican former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, following the release of allegations of sexual misconduct against the prestigious front runner Republican nominee. Due to the timing of the events leading up to the election, Jones became the first Democrat to secure a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in 25 years.
Many believe this peculiar scenario leaves Jones’ reelection chances quite low and his seat vulnerable. Despite this, the Senator’s campaign has released multiple response statements to the Sessions rumors.
“The truth is, we can beat anyone they put up against us. Sessions? He’s too extreme and too divisive for our state. He represents so much of what we’ve been working so hard to move past as a state,” according to a statement from the Jones campaign. “We don’t need another hyper-partisan divider in Washington, and we sure don’t need anyone who’ll embarrass us.”
No matter what the results of this polarized state-wide race, the effects will send shock-waves from Huntsville down to Mobile.
Candidates must officially enter the race by Nov. 8, so this speculation will conclude one way or another in the near future.