Dear Commons Community,
Jeff Sessions, the former senator from Alabama, who was President Trump’s attorney general for two years, plans to announce today that he will enter the race to reclaim his old seat in 2020. Trump could not stand that Sessions did the honorable thing by recusing himself from the Mueller Russian investigation. As reported by The New York Times:
“Mr. Sessions has remained largely out of the public eye, and has been effectively exiled from Republican politics, since he was forced out of the Trump administration last November. He had repeatedly clashed with the president over his decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump relentlessly attacked Mr. Sessions both in public and in private, calling him “scared stiff” and his leadership “a total joke,” among other insults, ultimately forcing him to resign. By choosing to run for office now, Mr. Sessions risks reigniting attacks from his former boss, who could undermine his standing among the Republican voters he needs to win next year’s crowded primary election on March 3.
Mr. Trump, for his part, continues to blame Mr. Sessions for the two-year Russia probe, and last weekend he repeatedly denounced Mr. Sessions, saying he was a “jerk” and making it clear Mr. Sessions would not have his support, according to a person briefed on the discussions…
…The race is likely to be one of the most closely watched of the 2020 cycle, and not only because of the lingering tension between Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions. Many Republicans are bracing for the possibility that Roy S. Moore, the former Alabama chief justice accused of fondling teenage girls in his 30s, could once again become the nominee.
Alabama Republicans nominated Mr. Moore in the 2017 special election to fill the seat Mr. Sessions had held for 20 years before becoming attorney general. But after several women came forward, claiming Mr. Moore had abused them when they were underage, his campaign unraveled. He lost to Doug Jones, who became the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama.
News of Mr. Sessions’s decision to run startled and dismayed national Republicans, who had hoped that he would step aside to avoid the possibility of being vilified by Mr. Trump — and to spare them the headache of a nationalized race in a state they hope to win back.
Mr. Jones is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the Senate, and Republicans have been counting on retaking his seat. Without it, their path to retaining their 53-to-47 majority in the chamber is more challenging.”
The Alabama Senate primary and the election will be closely watched indeed.