Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid

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

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyNegotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts GOP expects Senate to be in session next week without coronavirus deal Mnuchin: Negotiators no closer to coronavirus deal than a week ago MORE (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign 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 MooreSessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff Judge allows Roy Moore lawsuit over Sacha Baron Cohen prank to proceed Senate outlook slides for GOP 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 ByrneJerry Carl wins GOP Alabama runoff to replace Rep. Bradley Byrne Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff Sessions fights for political life in Alabama runoff 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.”