Category: 2020 Primary Elections
Former Auburn University head coach Tommy Tuberville handily defeated former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate seat Tuesday night in an election heavily influenced by the candidates’ relationships to President Donald Trump.
According to unofficial results reported by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, Tuberville defeated Sessions 60.74% to 39.26%. Tuberville will face Democrat Doug Jones in the Nov. 3 general election.
Voting in the party primary runoffs was higher than expected. Almost 17.4% of voters statewide cast ballots in the election, which is more than those who voted in the 2014 and 2016 primary runoffs.
In Jefferson County, 15.34% of voters cast ballots. About 71% of those ballots were cast in the Republican primary and about 29% in the Democratic, according to unofficial results reported by the county Board of Registrars office.
Political prognosticators see the defeat as the end of Sessions’ decades-long political career, which started in 1981 with his appointment by President Ronald Reagan as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a title he held for 12 years. Read more.
The Associated Press has called the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate seat for Tommy Tuberville.
With more than two-thirds of precincts reporting, Tuberville appeared to lead former Sen. Jeff Sessions by about 62% to 38%, according to numbers the New York Times is reporting from AP, which had a network of reporters at the polls Tuesday evening.
Beth Kellum also was leading in the race to retain the nomination to her seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals, 55% to Will Smith’s 45%.
Voting at polls in Alabama has been relatively slow so far today. Secretary of State John Merrill downgraded his predicted turnout to 10% to 15%, which is slightly low for party runoffs but now extremely so, saying today’s voting is experiencing a “market downturn.”
In Jefferson County, Probate Judge Sherri Friday said 10% of all registered voters, or 51,235 people, had voted as of 4 p.m.
“That’s pretty good,” she said. “We have had no problems, and everything has been running fine. It’s been a boring day.”
Only two races are on the statewide Republican ballot, and no statewide races are on the Democratic ballot. Additionally, concern about going into public spaces remains because of rising COVID-19 cases in Alabama.
The race drawing the most attention is the battle between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate seat. Also on the Republican ballot statewide is the runoff for a state Criminal Court of Appeals judgeship. Some other areas of the state have runoffs for seats in the U.S. House, but not in the Birmingham area. Jefferson County has one local runoff, for Jefferson County Treasurer, which is on the Democratic ballot. There are no Democratic runoffs in Shelby County and no local Republican races. Basic information about navigating the polls today includes:
—Polls close at 7 p.m.
—No crossover voting allowed. If you voted in the primary election March 3, you may vote only in the same party’s runoff. If you didn’t vote in March, you can vote in either runoff.
—Poll workers are wearing masks and gloves and polling places are equipped with disinfectant wipes and spray and hand sanitizer. Voters are asked to wear masks, but poll workers cannot require voters to wear masks.
See more information from BirminghamWatch’s 2020 Primary Runoff Voter Guide:
Jeff Sessions kicked off a weeklong tour of Alabama last week with a visit to a farmer’s market in Pike Road, a small town 14 miles outside Montgomery. The event marked the beginning of a final campaign push for Sessions, who is locked in a heated battle to regain the U.S. Senate seat he held from 1997 to 2017.
The campaign has been an uphill battle for Sessions, to put it lightly. Polls have consistently shown him trailing his opponent, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, by as many as 20 points. Now, with the July 14 Republican runoff election just days away, Sessions is making his closing argument: that his opponent is “weak.”
Tuberville is touting his endorsement by President Donald Trump, saying he stands with the president to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Read more.
BirminghamWatch has gathered information you’ll need before heading to the polls or filling out that absentee ballot. Inside you’ll find:
Profiles and contributions for each candidate. Read more.
Races on the ballot for the July 14 primary runoffs Read more.