Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a close runoff with former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday night for the Republican nomination for Sessions' former Senate seat in Alabama.
Sessions gave up the Senate seat when he was appointed Trump's first attorney general, a position he was forced to resign after his recusal from the Russia inquiry sparked blistering criticism from the president.
The race is the first political contest for Tuberville.
The winner will face Democrat Doug Jones, who beat Republican Roy Moore in a special election to fill Sessions seat. Moore, the former judge and Alabama chief justice known for posting the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and at the Alabama Judicial building, lost to Jones after being accused of sexual misconduct by several women when they were in their teens.
Moore has denied the accusations.
Other candidates included Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Ala., businessman Stanley Adair, and community activist Ruth Page Nelson.
The candidates competed to portray themselves as the most loyal to President Donald Trump.
In Saturday campaign stops, Sessions reminded voters of his long history in the state, on issues like immigration and trade, and that he was the first to endorse Trump in 2016.
"We have to ask who will be most effective in advancing the beliefs of Alabamians," Sessions said.
Tuberville, boosted by fame from years as a college football coach, has tried to portray himself as the political outsider in the race.
"This country is in trouble. Thank God we elected Donald Trump," Tuberville said in a stop in Prattville.
Three-term congressman Byrne hit Alabama's largest cities Monday in a rush of last-minute campaign rallies. Byre is giving up a safe congressional seat to run for Senate.
"People in Alabama are looking for a conservative fighter, someone with a real track record who just doesn't talk about it," Byrne said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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