Donald Trump received his first Senate endorsement at a rally Sunday evening in Alabama, just two days before Super Tuesday.


In a surprise appearance in Huntsville, Alabama, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions delivered a long-anticipated endorsement just ahead of his home state’s primary.

“I am pleased to endorse Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE for president,” Sessions said to a crowd that Trump described as the “biggest crowd of the political season,” tallied at about 32,000.

“I told Donald Trump, this isn’t a campaign, this a movement,” the Alabama senator and Tea Party favorite said to wild applause upon taking the stage. “I believe that the movement is afoot — that must not fade away. It has the potential to have the American people’s voices heard for a change.”

Sessions’s endorsement is the latest sign that Trump’s candidacy is gaining momentum within the GOP’s establishment. He spoke for just a few minutes before ceding the stage to the front-runner. Trump received his first two congressional endorsements last week, as well as the backing of two Republican governors — most notably, former GOP presidential rival Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Sessions has for months hinted at supporting Trump, and inched closer to an endorsement this week when he said Trump could beat Hillary Clinton.

Earlier this week, the Alabama senator said he would not endorse Senate colleague Marco Rubio (Fla.), despite pressure from within the party to unite around a less inflammatory candidate than Trump.

Last August, Sessions was spotted wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. In January, one of Sessions's top aides, Stephen Miller, was picked as a special adviser for Trump’s campaign.