Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has won the endorsement for attorney general from Albert F. Turner Jr., the son of the couple that Sessions prosecuted for voter fraud in the mid-1980s as U.S. attorney, National Review reports.
Turner says that although he and Sessions "respectfully disagree on some issues," they "share certain Alabama and American values, including a love for our State, its people and our Country."
The last time Sessions faced confirmation from the Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan nominated him for federal judge, he was rejected by the Republican-controlled committee. The 1985 voter fraud case against multiple black civil rights activists came up repeatedly, according to The Washington Post.
"I have known Senator Sessions for many years, beginning with the voter fraud case in Perry County in which my parents were defendants," Turner wrote in a statement. "My differences in policy and ideology with him do not translate to personal malice. He is not a racist. As I have said before, at no time then or now has Jeff Sessions said anything derogatory about my family. He was a prosecutor at the Federal level with a job to do. He was presented with evidence by a local District Attorney that he relied on, and his office presented the case. That's what a prosecutor does. I believe him when he says that he was simply doing his job."
Turner has faith that Sessions "will listen, as he has in the past, to the concerns of my community. More than most I am very familiar with him. I believe he will be fair in his application of the law and the Constitution; as such I support his nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States."
He ends with a plea to the civil rights community to seek "constructive dialogue" with Sessions.
"I stand ready to work with Senator Sessions as he becomes our Country's Attorney General," Turner concludes, "and offer to him my willingness to help him in any way I might be of service."
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