A seat in the US Senate, representing Alabama, will be up for grabs in 2020. The Democratic candidate will almost certainly be the incumbent, Sen. Doug Jones. Who will be his Republican opponent? That is as yet unknown, and a former Senator (also a former Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, has just announced that he will pursue that nomination.
Sessions was one of the earliest important figures in the national Republican Party to support Trump’s campaign for President, a support he announced in February 2016, when that campaign still seemed quixotic. Sessions had always been a hard-liner on immigration issues, and he may have influenced the Trump campaign’s fateful move in that direction. Once in office, President Trump made Sessions the Attorney General.
But the relationship between the two men soured while Sessions was serving in that capacity, and Trump effectively fired Sessions in November 2018.
The Thing to Know:
Sessions had a conservative voting record during his time in the Senate (1997 – 2017) by almost anyone’s definition of conservative. But at this historic moment, in some contexts, ‘conservatism’ gets equated with the support for, or the receipt of support from, President Donald Trump. And it is not at all clear where the President will come down, if he takes a position on the nomination fight in Alabama at all.