Luther Strange Gets First Primary Challenger

Suspended state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore enters Alabama Senate race

Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., will face a primary challenge from the state's suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., will face a primary challenge from the state's suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted April 26, 2017 at 3:16pm

Roy Moore, the suspended Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, announced Wednesday that he’ll challenge Alabama Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican primary next year.

Moore, who was suspended in 2016 for telling probate judges not to follow federal orders on same-sex marriage, had previously been interviewed to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions after Sessions became U.S attorney general, but now-former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange, the former state attorney general, to the seat, AL.com reported.

Bentley resigned earlier this month amid revelations that he had an extramarital affair with an adviser and charged  the state for some of the costs of her travel.

Strange had come under criticism for putting an impeachment investigation of Bentley on hold and saying the state’s Justice Department was looking into the matter before he was appointed by Bentley.

Moore was removed from the chief justice position in 2003 after he refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state’s judicial building, but voters restored him to the post in 2012.

Strange, state Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, and Randy Brinson, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, have announced they are running. Others considering getting into the race include state Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Sens. Slade Blackwell and Trip Pittman, and former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., AL.com reported.

Party primaries are scheduled for Aug. 15 and a runoff, if needed, would be Sept. 26. The general election is Dec. 12.