Category: 2020 Primary Elections

Sessions Pens Open Letter to Voters After Trump Endorses Tuberville in GOP Senate Primary Runoff

A stinging rebuke by President Donald Trump, plus Trump’s endorsement of his election opponent, has left former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions scampering to stay alive in the Republican Senate primary runoff race — and prompting Sessions to write an open letter to Alabama voters, explaining many of his actions while serving as the head of the Department of Justice.

Sessions released his letter on Tuesday morning through his campaign website and in emails to the news media, in which he reiterated his support of Trump’s policies and again explained his decision to recuse himself from the investigation of the Trump campaign and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
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Contributors in the U.S. Senate Race

Following are lists of contributors of $5,000 and up to U.S. Senate candidates. Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, faced no opposition from within his party and will be on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville are candidates for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat, and the winner of their July 14 GOP primary runoff will face Jones in the fall election. Read more.

Tuberville, Sessions Fundraising Neck-and-Neck for Senate Seat

Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions have been running almost dollar-for-dollar in recent weeks as they raise cash for their campaigns for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, according to reports they filed this week with the Federal Elections Commission.

Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach, narrowly led a field of seven candidates in the GOP primary on March 3. He will meet Sessions, who held the Senate seat for almost two decades until he resigned in early 2017 to become President Donald Trump’s first attorney general, in a runoff on July 14. Read more.

See the lists of contributors in the U.S. Senate race.

Sessions Targets China, Calls for ‘Reset’ in Relationship

The outbreak of the new coronavirus has drastically altered the campaigns for Alabama’s runoff elections. Originally scheduled for March 31, runoffs for the Republican races for Congress and U.S. Senate are now postponed until July 14.

The pandemic and its total consumption of the news cycle have also shifted the narrative for candidates. Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is running for his former seat in the U.S. Senate, has capitalized on the situation to take an aggressive position against China and highlight his foreign policy bonafides.

In the runoff, Sessions faces former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, who won 33% of the vote to Sessions’ 32% in the March 3 primary election. Todd Stacy of Alabama Daily News interviewed Sessions and talked about his campaign and the issues he is discussing.
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Ivey Delays Alabama Primary Runoff Election Until July 14

 Gov. Kay Ivey today moved Alabama’s primary runoff elections from next Tuesday, March 31, until July 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Exercising my extraordinary powers under the Emergency Management Act, I am setting Alabama’s Primary Runoff Election for July 14, 2020,” Ivey said during a news conference this morning. “The ability to hold free and fair elections is an inherent right as citizens of the United States and the great state of Alabama, but the safety and wellbeing of Alabama citizens is paramount.”

She said recommendations that people practice social distancing and avoid crowds would be difficult to maintain in election day.
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Shaw Wins Re-election to Supreme Court

MONTGOMERY — Sitting Supreme Court Justice Greg Shaw fended off a challenge from state Sen. Cam Ward Tuesday in the Republican primary for his Place 1 seat on the high court. 

Shaw received 341,442 votes, earning 58.43%, while Ward received 242,913 votes, 41.57%, according to the latest unofficial tally from the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

With no Democrat signed up to run, Shaw will be uncontested in the general election on Nov. 3. 
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Fridy, Windom Win Appellate Court Races; Kellum and Smith Head to Runoff

MONTGOMERY — Alabama voters on Tuesday gave clear-cut victories in two races for appellate judgeships, while sending a third to a runoff. 

For Place 1 on the Court of Civil Appeals, State Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, defeated Pelham attorney Phillip Bahakel by 66% to 34%. There is no Democrat running in the November general election.

For Place 1 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Mary Windom defeated Cullman attorney Melvin Hasting by 70% to 30%. With no Democratic primary opponent, Windom will be uncontested in the general election.

For Place 2 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Beth Kellum will face former Lauderdale County Commissioner Will Smith in a runoff on March 31. There is no Democrat running in the November general election. 

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Sessions, Tuberville in GOP Runoff for Senate; Trump Criticizes Sessions

Jeff Sessions, bidding to take back the U.S. Senate seat he held for two decades, will face political newcomer and longtime college football coach Tommy Tuberville in a March 31 runoff for the Republican nomination for the position.

With the campaign revolving around which candidate is the stronger supporter of President Donald Trump, the president seemingly inserted himself into the race early Wednesday with a tweet criticizing Sessions.

“This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted. “Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”

Sessions was an early supporter of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the president appointed Sessions as his first attorney general. When Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, Trump responded with scathing criticism and forced him to resign.

Tuberville and Sessions led a field of seven candidates in Tuesday’s GOP primary election. Both immediately declared their loyalty to the president and his programs.

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It’s Election Day

Voting is steady in Jefferson County this evening as polls prepare to close at 7 p.m.

County Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Stephenson said he expected the county to hit the 30% voter turnout projected by the secretary of state.
Grace Newcombe, Alabama Secretary of State’s Office spokeswoman, also said polls seemed to have run smoothly and consistently across the state today.

At the top of the ballot are races for president and the U.S. Senate. But other races also are on the ballot, including races for the state Supreme Court and appellate courts, Public Service Commission and a host of county races. Also at stake is the future of the Alabama Board of Education, as voters decide whether that group should remain an elected board or become a politically appointed commission via Amendment 1. Read more.

In the Weeds: A Career of Fighting Has Led Byrne to Senate Showdown

MONTGOMERY — Bradley Byrne is a fighter.

That’s what Alabama’s 1st District Congressman says differentiates him from the field of other candidates in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, and there’s plenty of evidence that his previous experience backs that up.

Over a political career that has taken him from the state school board and the state Senate to the Alabama Community College System chancellor’s office and the U.S. House of Representatives, Byrne’s fights have been famous.

Perhaps the most successful was Byrne’s bout with the state’s two-year college system, which had been mired in a patronage scandal until he, a reform-minded governor and federal prosecutors came in to clean it up.

Perhaps the least successful was a run for governor in 2010 that saw him on a quixotic quest to take on the then-all-powerful state teachers’ association, only for that group to marshal untold resources to defeat him in the end.

Now Byrne finds himself in the middle of another high-profile fight as he seeks to win a U.S. Senate seat by first outmatching two better-known Republican rivals in former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. The winner of the Republican primary — or runoff, if needed — will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November. Read more.