Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ hopes for a political comeback were dashed Tuesday by former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and President Donald Trump.
Tuberville had Trump’s backing in the Republican primary runoff to take on Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, which likely boosted Tuberville's campaign.
Sessions’ defeat is the latest blow to his political career since he was fired from the Trump administration. Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions sought to make a political comeback by running for the seat he vacated to become Trump’s attorney general, arguing that politicians in the nation’s capital do not get to choose the GOP Senate candidate in Alabama.
Unfortunately for Sessions, Trump remains popular in the Yellowhammer State, which he won by 28 points in 2016. Tuberville had 62 percent of the vote to Sessions’ 38 percent when The Associated Press called the race on Tuesday.
Alabama represents the Republicans’ best Senate pickup opportunity as they try to thwart Democratic attempts to retake the chamber.
Jones may be the most vulnerable senator running for reelection, but he likely starts the general election with a sizable financial advantage. Second-quarter fundraising reports are due Wednesday but as of March 31, Jones’ campaign had nearly $8.3 million on hand. Tuberville’s campaign had $448,000 in the bank as of June 24, the end of the pre-runoff reporting period.
But Jones still faces an uphill battle for reelection in the ruby-red state. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Alabama Senate race Lean Republican.
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