Cast Your Ballot Today

We urge everyone to get out and vote in the primary election for the Senate seat previously occupied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Following Sessions’ confirmation back in February, then-Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed the state’s attorney general, Luther Strange, to temporarily fill that position until the general election.


Among the nine Republicans running for the vacant seat, three are flagged as main contenders: incumbent Sen. Luther Strange; former judge Roy Moore; and Mo Brooks, representative for Alabama’s 5th congressional district.


Strange officially stated his candidacy for Sessions’ seat on Dec. 6, just 18 days after Trump announced he would be picking Sessions for attorney general. Strange was appointed in February to temporarily fill the seat left by Sessions. Previously, Strange served as the attorney general for Alabama. After winning the Republican primary, he lost the race for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Strange was recently endorsed by Trump, who tweeted that Strange “has done a great job representing the people” of Alabama.

Strange has come under fire from his rivals for the substantial advertising support he has received from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that has been known to support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Politico reported that Steven Law, the PAC’s president, said, “While he doesn’t direct what we do, McConnell has made it very clear that Luther’s race is his No. 1 political priority right now.”

According to Politico, the fund had spent $3.5 million on the race as of late July, including an ad tying Brooks to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Roy Moore

Roy Moore previously served as the chief justice for the Alabama Supreme Court, but was suspended in November 2003 for refusing federal court orders to take down a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building.

He was re-elected to the position in 2013 but was again removed in May 2016 for ordering other judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, although the state’s ban on the matter had been overturned. He announced his Senate bid in late April.

Moore was endorsed by actor Chuck Norris, who said of the candidate, “Judge Roy Moore is the real deal. The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can. … That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore.”

Moore released an ad Tuesday slamming McConnell, Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham, and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Send them all a message,” the ad says while calling out the majority leader’s “DC slime machine.”

Mo Brooks

Mo Brooks currently represents Alabama’s 5th district in the United States House of Representatives. He serves on the Armed Services; Foreign Affairs; and Science, Space and Technology committees. Previously, Brooks was elected to the Alabama House and Madison County Commission, and he later served as Alabama special assistant attorney general. Brooks was also a founding member of the Freedom Caucus. He has been endorsed by Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, R-N.C., among others.

In July, following public criticism of Sessions by Trump and speculation that Sessions might be removed from his role as attorney general, Brooks released a statement offering to withdraw from the Senate race if the other GOP candidates did as well, clearing the field for Sessions to become the Republican nominee for the Senate general election.

“He can return to the Senate where he has served us so well,” Brooks said in a statement. “I support President Trump’s policies, but this public waterboarding of one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced is inappropriate and insulting.”

Why this race matters

At a time when the president’s support within his own party wavers, the Alabama Senate special election holds importance significance as contenders are doing all they can to affirm their allegiance to the White House.

According to a CNN poll released Tuesday, the president’s approval rating among Republicans has fallen to 59 percent, down from 73 percent in February.

Strange has been a steadfast supporter of President Trump and said at a candidate forum last month, “President Trump is the greatest thing that’s happened to this country. I consider it a Biblical miracle that he’s there.”

In response to Trump’s endorsement, Strange released a statement Tuesday.

“I am so deeply honored and humbled to receive the endorsement and support of our president. President Trump’s election and hard work has given millions of people hope again, and I’m proud to stand beside him to make America great again,” he said.

Moore has applauded Trump’s controversial ban on transgender personnel serving in the military. In a statement on Facebook last month, Moore said, “I commend President Trump for putting our nation’s military preparedness before political correctness. As U.S. senator, I will not stand by while the left uses the military for social experimentation.”

Brooks has campaigned as a strong supporter of Trump, writing on his website, “I supported Trump in 2016 and wrote a $2,500 check to help him win.”

According to Richard Fording, a professor of political science at the University of Alabama, this election “will continue to be influenced by Trump and that it will flat out be a referendum on his performance as president.”

The GOP now holds 52 seats in the Senate. The Democrats hold 48; two independent senators caucus with the Democrats. A win for the Democrats would be a significant gain for the party, but is unlikely given the strong Republican leaning of the state. Among the seven Democrats running in the primary, contenders include Doug Jones, who served as U.S. district attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and former naval officer Robert Kennedy Jr., who shares no affiliation with the famous presidential family.


If one candidate emerges from the primary with 50 percent of the vote, that individual will win the seat. If no candidate reaches this threshold, a runoff election will be held on Sept. 26, followed by a general election on Dec. 12.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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