Trump Shuns Jeff Sessions, Endorses Former Auburn Football Coach Tommy Tuberville in Senate Race


President Donald Trump endorsed former Auburn University coach Tommy Tuberville for senator of Alabama in a series of tweets Tuesday evening.

Tuberville is facing former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate Republican runoff in Alabama, which will be held on March 31, 2020.

“Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville) is running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Alabama,” Trump tweeted. “Tommy was a terrific head coach at Auburn University. He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down!”

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The president outlined some of Tuberville’s values, including protecting citizens’ Second Amendment rights and a strong take on crime and border security.

“Coach Tommy Tuberville, a winner, has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love Alabama!” Trump tweeted.

Although the president had not commented on the Senate race until his endorsement, his apparent snub of Sessions, a former Alabama senator, echoes Trump’s previous criticism of the former attorney general.

Trump said in a “Meet the Press” interview on NBC last summer that the “biggest mistake” of his presidency was appointing Sessions as attorney general.

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The president’s vendetta against Sessions stems from his recusal from overseeing the Justice Department’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

For his part, Tuberville responded to Trump’s endorsement and tweeted “Looking forward to helping you drain the swamp and #KAG!”

In campaign ads, Tuberville has touted being a conservative, Christian who is not a career politician.

“God sent us Donald Trump because God knew we were in trouble,” he says in one ad.

Sessions has also declared his support for the president in his campaign ads, and told voters he was the first senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 GOP primary, USA Today reported.

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Sessions and Tuberville are currently tied in the Senate runoff, according to an OnMessage poll released Tuesday by Sessions’ campaign.

Each candidate has 45 percent support among 800 likely GOP primary voters with a margin of error of 3.46 percent. Another 10 percent of those voters responded that they were still undecided.

A different poll released Tuesday by Cygnal, a Republican firm, showed Tuberville was leading Sessions by 12 percentage points, with 52 percent support among 645 likely GOP primary voters. (That poll had a margin of error of 3.86 percent.)

The winner of the runoff will challenge Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who beat Republican nominee Roy Moore for Sessions’ Senate seat in 2017.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith