Jeff Sessions announces 2020 run for Senate seat

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

Jones, a Democrat, won the seat after Sessions left it in 2017 to become attorney general. Did I go on CNN and attack the President? No.

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, however, told reporters on Thursday that he'd "absolutely" endorse his former colleague if he got into the race.

Their relationship soured when Sessions, as attorney general, recused himself from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Trump blamed Sessions for what he frequently called a "witch hunt" by an independent prosecutor.

Knowledgeable Republicans say Sessions will announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Thursday.

But it's already clear that President Donald Trump's enmity toward him, along with an established field of competitors, means he'll have to battle his way to the Republican nomination.

Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Trump's campaign, suffered a huge falling out with the president over his decision to recuse himself from the federal probe into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

One major question hanging over Sessions' entrance into the race would be whether Trump - who has remained popular in Alabama - would take steps to thwart his bid.

He is expected to make a formal announcement on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight later Thursday. The ad quotes Trump calling Sessions an "embarrassment to Alabama" and a "total disaster". In 2017, Trump rewarded Sessions, who served as a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general before being elected to the Senate in 1996, to lead the Justice Department. Nope. Have I said a cross word about our president?

Asked if he thought it's a good idea for Sessions to run, McConnell tells The Associated Press that Alabamans will "figure this out" and he hopes to win the seat back.

Other Republican candidates are already pitching themselves as better stewards of Trump's political brand. Additional candidates include Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, state Rep. Arnold Mooney and Roy Moore, the former judge who previously lost the special election to Jones in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct towards underage teens.

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