Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly run for the U.S. Senate seat he once held from Alabama.
Sessions previously held the seat from 1997 to 2017, leaving the upper chamber of Congress after he was tapped to become part of the Trump Administration as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Before serving as attorney general, Sessions was often considered to be among the most conservative members of the Senate, brandishing a particularly hawkish view on immigration.
Before being tapped, Sessions was also among then-candidate Donald Trump’s earliest high-profile supporters. However, Sessions had a falling out with President Trump after then attorney general decided to recuse himself from Robert Mueller’s probe. He stepped down from his post at the president’s request in 2018 after the GOP was hit with considerable losses in that year’s midterm elections.
Despite all of this, Sessions seems confident that he’ll regain his old seat. Further, he continues to support the president’s agenda — even with their personal differences being as public as they are.
“[Sessions] will come out forcefully in support of [President] Trump’s agenda while denouncing Democrats’ impeachment efforts. And steps have already begun to hire campaign staff,” an unnamed source told the Hill shortly before the November 8th deadline to file for the race.
With Sessions moving forward with his campaign, the question of whether or not Trump will be lending his support is up in the air. Many political analysts are skeptical, believing the president will back returning candidate Roy Moore instead. Newsweek reports that the president called Sessions head of his campaign announcement, saying that he will publicly attack him.
Moore ran a heavily pro-Trump campaign leading up to the midterms in 2018, but a wave of sexual assault allegations (which were not corroborated) buried his chances. Sitting Republican members of Congress voted to support a pre-emptive censure Moore in the event that he won, which he didn’t.
National politics aside, Sessions remains a very popular figure in Alabama at the local level — and it’s easy to see why. Sessions has a clear policy agenda, and an easy campaign pitch for Alabama voters — he has ran this exact campaign before, and was in office for 20 years.
Whatever happens, with Republicans taking local losses in both Kentucky and Virginia, the GOP can’t afford to lose another stronghold like Alabama. President Trump would be wise to be involved with the election when he needs to be, and support the nominee after the primary is over. Whether he can bury the hatchet with Sessions is irrelevant: he will have a supporter in the Senate either way.