U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby told reporters Wednesday that he’d back his longtime former colleague Jeff Sessions should he decide to run for his old seat in the U.S. Senate.
“If he runs, I will,” Shelby told reporters, according to Roll Call’s Jennifer Shutt. “He’s always endorsed me. He’s my friend.”
.@SenShelby says he will endorse Jeff Sessions, should his former colleague enter the 2020 Senate campaign.
"If he runs, I will. He's always endorsed me. He's my friend."
— Jennifer Shutt (@JenniferShutt) October 30, 2019
Sessions left the Senate in 2017 when President Donald Trump appointed him to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Their relationship eventually soured over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia election interference investigation, and Trump asked Sessions to resign in November 2018.
Now, Sessions is reportedly considering running to reclaim the seat he held for 20 years. Candidate qualifying for the Republican primary ends on Friday, Nov 8.
Several other candidates have already qualified for the race and are running hard, including former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne, former Chief Justice Roy Moore, and Secretary of State John Merrill. None of the candidates have said they would bow out of the race should Sessions enter it.
Tuberville said that Sessions “had his chance to stand and defend the president and he failed.” Byrne told the Washington Post that “the president is very angry with Jeff. I think the president will be very vocal against him… For Jeff’s sake, I don’t want that. But I think that’s the reality of what he’s facing.”
Shelby, though, seemed more optimistic about Sessions’ chances.
“All indications are he would win,” Shelby told reporters. “He has been very popular in the state of Alabama for a long time.”
In an interview with Sinclair networks, Shelby elaborated.
“He’d be a formidable candidate. I think he’d be the man to beat and should win the race, but he has to win it and it’s up to the people ultimately to decide.”
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-partner=”tweetdeck”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>.<a href=”https://twitter.com/SenShelby?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@SenShelby</a> on a possible Jeff Sessions Senate run: "He’d be a formidable candidate. I think he’d be the man to beat and should win the race, but… it’s up to the people ultimately to decide." <a href=”https://twitter.com/mynbc15?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@mynbc15</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/C2C?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#C2C</a> <a href=”https://t.co/WHWjuBOvh8″>pic.twitter.com/WHWjuBOvh8</a></p>— C2C Sinclair (@SBGC2C) <a href=”https://twitter.com/SBGC2C/status/1189641041605021697?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 30, 2019</a></blockquote>
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