Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid

Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyWhite House prepared to support December CR On The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office' Medill dean 'deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering' of student journalists Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report MORE hasn’t ruled out running for his former Senate seat in 2020, and that he would be “formidable” if he jumps in the Alabama race.

“I talked to him before. If he got in the race he would be very formidable,” Shelby said.

Asked if Sessions had indicated if he was leaning toward getting in the race or not, Shelby indicated that a decision had not been made.

“He hasn’t said to me yes or no,” Shelby said. “But he’s a good friend.”

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Shelby’s comments come as the chance of a bloody GOP primary in the Alabama Senate race has emerged as an early 2020 headache for Republicans.

Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreFormer AG Sessions enters Alabama Senate race Campaign ad casts Sessions as a 'traitor' ahead of expected Senate run Doug Jones on potential challenge from Sessions: Alabama GOP primary will be 'really divisive' MORE, who lost to Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) in 2017, is flirting with making a second run and is expected to announce his decision on Thursday.

Moore lost the 2017 race after several allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Moore has denied wrongdoing, but national Republicans believe he is unable to win a general election and haven’t ruled out intervening in the race to stop him from becoming the nominee.

Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneTrump attends football game with Jeff Sessions' Alabama Senate race opponent Bradley Byrne The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Trump: 'We'll have to see' on endorsing Sessions's Senate bid MORE (R-Ala.) and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville are two of several Republicans who have already entered the race.

Shelby, asked about Moore on Wednesday, didn’t specifically endorse an alternative, but said the “people of Alabama will have a choice. I hope they’ll make the right one.”

He separately told The Washington Post that he hasn’t encouraged Sessions to run, but if he did he thought the former senator would “probably clear the field.”