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HomeNewsElectionsDoug Jones Isn’t Going to Like Who Republicans Want to Run Against Him

Doug Jones Isn’t Going to Like Who Republicans Want to Run Against Him

Democrat Doug Jones campaigns for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. (Photo: AP)
Democrat Doug Jones campaigns for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. (Photo: AP)
Democrat Doug Jones campaigns for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. (Photo: AP)

Democratic Senator Doug Jones defeated Republican Judge Roy Moore in the 2017 special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama.

The contest was held to replace Jeff Sessions, the longtime senator from Alabama who served from 1997 to 2017 until he was nominated to serve as attorney general.

The race was decided by less than 2 points, and it was the first time a Democrat won the state of Alabama in more than 20 years, since Richard Shelby in 1996.

The incumbent Democrat will begin the 2020 election cycle as the underdog. President Donald Trump, who carried The Heart of Dixie 62.1% to 34.4%, will be on the ballot.

Mr. Jones’ vulnerabilities all but erase incumbency edge, even against a generic Republican.

But he may not even have that luxury.

Multiple sources have told People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) that several Senate Republicans want the former longtime senator and attorney general to run against Senator Jones to reclaim his former seat.

Mr. Sessions was first elected Attorney General of Alabama in November 1994, defeating incumbent Democrat Jimmy Evans with 57% of the vote. During confirmation hearings, Democrats attempted to use his time as state attorney general to paint him as a racist.

On February 8, 2017, his “friends and former colleagues” in the U.S. Senate barely confirmed him as the 84th U.S. Attorney General by a vote of 52 to 47.

The idea has been floated to numerous sources who spoke to PPD on the condition of anonymity, including a half-dozen GOP donors and insiders. They did not indicate whether Mr. Sessions was interested.

But what is clear is that Senate Republicans do not want the base to nominate a more pro-Trump friendly candidate, to include Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the special election.

Rep. Brooks, a conservative who initially opposed the president in the nomination process, came in third behind appointed Senator Luther Strange and Judge Moore.

Judge Moore went on to defeat Mr. Strange in the runoff election, and ultimately went on to lose to Mr. Jones.

It was also clear that Republicans in support of the bid do not seem too concerned about whether Mr. Sessions damaged himself among the base. In fact, they clearly view Mr. Trump to be the electoral liability.

At one point, the once-incumbent rarely had to concern himself with general election challenges, let alone primary challenges. He was the first sitting member of the U.S. Senate to endorse President Trump as a candidate for the Republican nomination.

But much has changed since.

Mr. Sessions was fired and replaced as attorney general, and the president views his nomination as one of the greatest mistakes of his presidency, if not the greatest.

With Mr. Sessions recusing himself under political pressure, the special counsel was overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who many legal experts criticized as at least a potential witness in the case.

Mr. Rosenstein signed the last FISA warrant to spy on Team Trump, knowing full-well the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was not told about the full nature of the dossier.

The unverified opposition research project was passed off as an intelligence product to satisfy the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Nevertheless, despite the perceived conflict with Mr. Rosenstein and the lack of conflict with himself, Mr. Sessions refused to retake control or appoint a second special counsel to investigate the exposed conduct of the investigators.

But his former colleagues — including fellow southern Senators Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Tim Scott, R-S.C. — have supported the special counsel investigation.

Mr. Scott has opposed several of Mr. Trump’s judicial appointments, and both have been vocal critics of his style and stance on immigration.

But they support the former attorney general returning to the upper chamber. Worth noting, Mr. Tillis serves as the the Vice Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

Written by

Led by R. D. Baris, the People's Pundit, the PPD Elections Staff conducts polling and covers news about latest polls, election results and election data.

Latest comments

  • It doesn’t matter who the NRSC wants. They still have to have a Primary. Sessions should just go into retirement and let Mo Brooks go for it.

  • Thom Tillis is a piece of crap. Some how the RINOS spent buckets of money and got him elected, but he is as popular as herpes in NC, and Tim Scott was, is another Koch Brother’s Brother. He talks tough in voting years but washes Massas’ nutsack when needed …not a good Republican and likely his voting record reflects amnesty and never Trump thought…

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