On Thursday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce he will run the Senate seat he held for two decades, which is currently occupied by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).Sessions will join a Republican field that includes former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R).
According to multiple reports, despite serving as U.S. Attorney General for the Trump administration, Sessions is expected to be opposed by President Donald Trump.
Two sources familiar with Jeff Sessions plans say the former U.S. AG will announce his bid to reclaim old U.S. Senate seat ahead of this week’s filing deadline. It has been made clear to Sessions that Pres. Trump intends to campaign against him. https://t.co/KdOBwyzgki
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) November 6, 2019
Sessions entry into the contest comes at the 11th hour with the Alabama Republican Party’s deadline to qualify for the primary ballot set at 5 p.m. local time on Friday.
The Alabama Republican also reportedly will make his run official on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday.
— Sean Ross (@sean_yhn) November 6, 2019
Polling has consistently shown Tuberville as the race’s frontrunner, followed by Byrne. Sessions’ entry will likely change the complexion of the contest.
UPDATE: The Byrne campaign offered the following statement in reaction to the Sessions’ report:
“From the Mueller investigation to this impeachment sham, President Trump has been under constant attack. I won’t sit back and watch them destroy our country. Alabama deserves a Senator who will stand with the President and won’t run away and hide from the fight.” – Bradley Byrne
UPDATE 2: The Tuberville campaign gave Breitbart News the following statement on the Sessions’ news:
“Jeff Sessions entrance into this race is not a surprise. He’s been out of the swamp for less than two years and now he’s itching to go back. He’s another career politician that the voters of Alabama will reject. As Attorney General, he failed the President at his point of greatest need.” – Tommy Tuberville