The coming Senate primary contest in Alabama between incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, Rep. Mo Brooks, and former Judge Roy Moore next Tuesday has caught the attention of the President and his fellow Republicans in Congress.
After Jeff Sessions was tapped by President Trump to become the nation’s next Attorney General, Senator Luther Strange was appointed to the seat by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. Soon after, however, Gov. Bentley resigned over allegations that he used state resources to cover up an affair. His replacement, Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey, called for a special election to take place on December 12th.
Quickly approaching is the Republican primary for the seat, which is getting no small amount of attention from GOP leadership in Washington. President Trump waded into the primary debate Tuesday night in his classic fashion, tweeting:
Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
This comes on the same day as the Senate Leadership Fund, a GOP-allied PAC, spent over $600,000 against Strange’s top opponents, Moore and Brooks. At the same time, the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group seeking to defend conservatives against attacks from the party’s establishment, has made a $45,000 jump into the race on behalf of Brooks.
Moore is currently leading the top three contenders in polling at 30 percent, with Strange and Brooks close behind at 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Another 17 perecnt of primary voters are undecided, with the remaining 12 percent split among other candidates.
If no candidate breaks the 50 percent threshold in next week’s primary, the top two vote getters will participate in a runoff election on September 26th. The smart money right now is on Roy Moore clinching one of those two spots, based on the most recent polling.
Luther Strange and Mo Brooks, then, appear to be competing for that second spot in the runoff.
In a year marked by seven special elections, this contest in Alabama will have heavy implications as to the direction of the Republican Party, and the race will surely continue to hold the energy and attention of Alabama voters as well as the GOP’s national leadership.