Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid

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

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyGOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default GOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling Lawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates 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 MooreThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 jitters hit both parties in the Senate 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 ByrneThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid The Hill's Campaign Report: Debate puts Biden on the defensive 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.”