The race to take back the Alabama Senate seat reluctantly handed to Democrat Doug Jones in 2017 is heating up and has assembled some of the most qualified conservative leaders to run for national office in the state’s recent history.
Two years ago, Alabama conservatives — if they voted — were forced to hold their nose and choose between someone alleged to have sexually touched a 14 year old girl, or a liberal Democrat who did not represent their political values.
In 2020, a pantheon of principled conservative candidates is poised to unite the state’s conservatives in a strong repudiation of Jones’s alignment with radical Democrats.
The three candidates currently receiving the most attention are Former Senator and U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., and celebrated college football coach Tommy Tuberville. While Tuberville quickly surged in popularity, he has not demonstrated the same command of the issues as other candidates.
Sessions and Byrne appear to be the two candidates most poised to battle for the Republican nomination.
Sessions is running a crusade to reclaim the seat he held for over 20 years before serving as President Trump’s first Attorney General. According to internal polls conducted in December, Sessions has gained the support of 44 percent of Alabama Republican primary voters.
Many Alabamians are eager to send a familiar face with a known conservative track record to Washington to protect their rights and values in a turbulent and divided Congress.
Additionally, Sessions’s complicated history with the President may actually work to his advantage. The animosity between the President and his former Attorney General only ever went one way, and Sessions continues to praise the administration’s agenda. However, his perceived distance from the President may unite the few never-Trumpers left in the state who are increasingly lending their support to the President as a result of his economic achievements and shameful attacks by Washington Democrats.
However, Byrne commands a strong conservative record in the House of Representatives and would be a refreshing face to the Alabama Senate delegation. According to recent polling, he boasts a 64 percent favorability rating.
In his four terms in the House, Byrne established himself as a staunch supporter of conservative policies, advocating for the repeal of Obamacare, working to improve infrastructure, and championing the President’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
He also worked to secure additional funding for construction of Littoral Combat Ships and ease government restrictions on Gulf Coast fishing, accomplishments praised by his coastal constituency.
Most recently, Byrne earned a coveted shout-out in the President’s post-impeachment acquittal speech, calling Byrne and his fellow Republican House members "incredible warriors."
This comes after Byrne was seen alongside Trump at the Alabama-LSU football game in November. In a race that could hinge on the President’s coveted endorsement, many see Byrne as the most likely candidate to earn Trump’s approval.
However, given the President’s track record in making endorsements in Alabama elections, the White House may be better served by staying silent.
As an Alabama attorney and lifelong conservative, I would gladly support either candidate in the general election. However, Byrne is too essential to House Republicans to lose him at such a critical point in the history of the party and the nation.
Sessions has served Alabama with dignity and distinction and will return to the Senate with the same determination to protect the values of Alabamians while working with those across the aisle to achieve results for the American people, particularly in areas like infrastructure.
Additionally, Sessions’s name recognition will give him a crucial competitive advantage over Jones in the general election — a vital opportunity for Republicans to regain a Senate seat and continue their record success in appointing judges to the federal judiciary.
Two excellent candidates, Sessions and Byrne will restore legitimacy in the Alabama Republican party tainted by the marred candidacy of Roy Moore.
As the race inches closer to the March 3 primary, all eyes will be on Alabama and a race that has massive implications for the future of the state and the Republican party.
Christopher Reid is an attorney out of Birmingham who owns his own general practice law firm, which handles Business, Family, and Probate Law and high-end litigation throughout the state of Alabama. Reid has held various policy positions, including working for the Alabama Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., where he also worked for House Republican Whip Roy Blunt. In law school, he clerked for the Alabama Attorney General Office, and, after graduation, he became Health and Judiciary Policy Analyst for Alabama’s governor. His charitable work includes serving on the board of Sav-A-Life. Chris is a frequent co-host on The Scott Beason Show in Birmingham, writes political and legal commentary for publications including The Hill, The Washington Examiner, and has been quoted in The New Yorker. He regularly provides on-air expertise and political commentary for TV news shows on Fox, NBC, and Newsmax with JD Hayworth. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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