Shelby and Sessions Stave Off Trump Wave

Shelby avoids a runoff election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Shelby avoids a runoff election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 2, 2016 at 12:03am

In the midst of an anti-incumbent wave, with Republican presidential primary wins by Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz in Alabama and Texas, respectively, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, came out on top in their own races.  

In Alabama, Shelby won his primary decisively with 64 percent of the vote, with 63 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press , allowing him to avoid a runoff. Shelby faced four primary opponents, but the opponent closest to him, former Marine Jonathan McConnell, received just 28 percent of the vote.  

Also in Alabama, GOP Rep. Martha Roby avoided a runoff. After Shelby’s victory, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Roger Wicker of Mississippi said in a statement, “As a strong conservative, Senator Shelby fights every day to advance the priorities of Alabama families. Tonight, voters recognized that hard work with a decisive victory.” It continued, “Without Senator Shelby’s tireless work, the Republican majority would not be as strong as it is today.”  

Sessions bested three primary opponents and was able to avoid a runoff, winning 61 percent of the vote with 15 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP .  

Similarly, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, won with more than 53 percent of the vote after 66 percent of precincts reported, according to the AP.