With the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate race in Alabama heading for a runoff, President Trump made his choice between the two remaining candidates clear on Tuesday, as Fox News reports.
President Trump declared his support for longtime Auburn University football coach and political outsider Tommy Tuberville, saying on Twitter that Tuberville is “a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down!” He added that Tuberville will “protect your Second Amendment, is strong on Crime and the Border, and truly LOVES our Military and our Vets.”
The endorsement comes after Tuberville narrowly came in first in the initial primary, which consisted of seven candidates. He won 33 percent of the vote to Sessions’ 32 percent; with neither candidate receiving a majority, a runoff is set for March 31 between the two. Other candidates in the primary included Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Representative Arnold Mooney, and former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was the nominee in the 2017 special election, where he narrowly lost after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him.
The announcement by President Trump marks a significant snub of Sessions, who formerly held the seat before he resigned to become Trump’s first Attorney General in 2017. Sessions infamously recused himself during the initial investigations of alleged “Russian collusion;” his recusal directly led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to further investigate these claims, which were eventually debunked. Trump has since been extremely critical of Sessions’ performance as Attorney General. Sessions was succeeded in that position by William Barr, and his Senate seat was lost to Democrat Doug Jones in 2017.
The winner of the primary runoff will face Jones in November, in a contest that is all but guaranteed to be a Republican pickup.