Reports indicate former Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be getting back into politics in the coming year.
David McIntosh, president of the conservative policy institute Club for Growth and a long-time Sessions ally, confirmed these rumors, claiming exploratory polling shows the lifelong statesman would not be fighting an uphill battle were he to run.
“We are hearing that Sessions is seriously considering running for Senate again and that polling indicates he would be in very good shape,” McIntosh said. “The Club for Growth has in the past and would once again encourage him to run for that Senate seat.”
“We were enthusiastic way back, early on, that Sessions — when he retired from the attorney general spot — might go back to the Senate,” he added.
“At that point, he didn’t want to think about that because he was just finishing up one job. I’m very encouraged he’s now seriously considering it.”
The seat, which is expected to be hotly contested in 2020, is currently occupied by freshman Sen. Doug Jones.
A moderate Democrat, Jones turned heads when he bested conservative former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the vacant seat Sessions left when he became President Donald Trump’s first attorney general.
Sessions’ time as attorney general became defined by tensions between Trump and the nation’s top prosecutor after Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election less than two months into Trump’s term, as The New York Times reported.
One of Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress, Sessions had served in the Senate since 1997.
Before that, he occupied the role of Alabama attorney general.
Moore’s inability to succeed Sessions in a traditionally red state came as both a shock and a disappointment to Republicans.
But the former judge was unable to ride the Trump wave, as his campaign was greatly damaged by allegations of sexual misconduct during his young adult life.
“If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020,” Trump tweeted in May, “many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories.”
“Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!” the president wrote.
Moore has since officially announced his candidacy.
In one April poll, he led the field with 27 percent support, according to RealClearPolitics. The field has since expanded, and now includes U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and state Rep. Arnold Mooney.
Should Sessions truly want to pursue a bid for his former seat, he operates on a short window, as the Nov. 8 deadline to qualify for the ballot is quickly approaching.
But if he did run, Sessions would get off to the races on the right foot with a substantial war chest.
“Sessions would immediately have the money to compete in the primary,” Politico reported.
“He still has $2.5 million in his campaign account, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filing,” the outlet added.
“Only Byrne has more money in the bank, with slightly over $2.5 million cash on hand. Tuberville is next closest with $1.5 million.”
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