Trump Endorses Strange in Alabama Senate Primary

Top candidates all had tried to tie themselves to president

Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., speaks with attendees after the U.S. Senate candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party in Pelham, Alabama on Friday. Strange is running in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump endorsed GOP Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary Tuesday night, making waves in a race where each of the top candidates have tried to tie themselves to Trump.

“Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama,” Trump tweeted. “He has my complete and total endorsement!”

Trump’s endorsement comes one week before GOP voters head to the polls. If none of the nine candidates garners more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates advance to runoff election in September.

Strange, who was previously Alabama’s attorney general, was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Jeff Sessions. Trump nominated Sessions to be the U.S. Attorney General earlier this year.

Strange has consistently been one of the top contenders, with GOP Rep. Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore also among the top candidates.

Given Trump’s popularity in the Yellowhammer State, each of the top three candidates has been fighting to prove that he would be Trump’s strongest ally in the Senate.

Strange, who also received an endorsement from Trump’s Alabama campaign chairman on Thursday, was grateful for the president’s support.

“I am so deeply honored and humbled to receive the endorsement and support of our President, Donald Trump,” Strange said in a statement. “It is an honor to work hard beside him to deliver upon his promises to the American people.”

“Together, we will continue efforts to fill our courts with conservative judges, repeal Obamacare, offer tax relief to hard working Americans, lift this heavy burden of government regulations, rebuild our military and build that wall on our southern border,” Strange said.

Trump’s support will also likely be welcome news to party leadership. A Super PAC known as the Senate Leadership Fund, which is aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has already spent roughly $4 million on the race to keep Strange in the Senate.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Alabama Senate race Solid Republican.Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.