By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama Republican Party announced that it will open candidate qualifying for the Alabama US Senate Special Election on Monday, April 24 at 8:30 a.m. central time.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) had originally set the special election to replace Jeff Sessions for November 2018 to coincide with the regular election. A number of legal scholars, including state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) and State Representative Christopher John England (D-Tuscaloosa) argued that Bentley and his team of legal advisors had improperly defined “forthwith” and urged a 2017 Special Election.
After Gov. Bentley was forced to resign due to multiple ethics charges and impeachment hearings in the House, new Governor Kay Ivey (R) order the special election be held in December.
Republican qualifying will close on Wednesday, May 17 at 5:00 p.m. The major party primaries (if necessary) will be held on August 15, 2017. If needed, the primary runoff election will be held on September 26, 2017. The General Election will take place on December 12, 2017.
Senator Luther Strange (R) has said that he will run for the seat. Sen. Strange said, “As I’ve said for months, I’m a candidate and I’m ready to run whether the election is next month or next year. As the only announced candidate for this office, I will spend the next several months being the best Senator I can be, upholding Alabama values and working with President Donald Trump to drain the swamp and help make America great again. The people of Alabama deserve nothing less and ultimately it will be up to them to decide who will represent them in Washington.” Strange was appointed by Gov. Bentley.
State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) has also announced that he is running for the seat. Henry told reporters that Strange “strong armed” his way into the Senate, suggesting that Luther asked for the impeachment investigation to be suspended in exchange for some sort of an agreement that Bentley would appoint him to the Senate if Donald Trump won the presidency and appointed Sessions to his cabinet. Henry has said that Strange is a lobbyist at heart.
Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) will announce his future plans at a press conference on Wednesday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the Alabama State Capitol. On Wednesday, Chief Justice Moore said, “I will make my plans at the beginning of next week. I have to talk to my family, especially my wife, Kayla. God is faithful and the ultimate judge. He will direct my path.”
On Friday, April 21, 2017 Alabama Trump campaign Co-Chairman and former State Representative Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R) announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to gauge his viability as a Senate candidate. Hooper said, “Today I am announcing the formation of an Exploratory Committee for my possible candidacy for United States Senate. As I previously stated I am truly humbled by the tremendous number of calls, texts and emails I have received urging me to run. I feel an obligation to these people to take this next step. Hooper added, “The past two years I have travelled across this great state campaigning for candidate now president Donald J. Trump. I saw firsthand how desperate Alabama is for a fundamental change in the direction of this country and state. I am committed to transforming the very nature of politics. Our Government at all levels must no longer be controlled by insiders and the political elite. We must turn the political process into a conversation in which every Alabamian regardless of their background can contribute. Just as important I am committed to the agenda of our President and will work tirelessly to assure its implementation. I will not be swayed by the culture of the Washington beltway from these commitments.”
State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), Senate President Del Marsh (R-Anniston), State School board member Mary Scott Hunter (R) businessman and Auburn Trustee Jimmy Raine, and Dr. Randy Brinson are all rumored to be considering running for the seat.
Individuals interested in qualifying as a Republican should contact ALGOP Political Director Reed Phillips at 205-212-5900 or [email protected]
To qualify as a Democrat contact the Alabama Democratic Party. Marijuana activist Ron Crumpton, political activist Randy Johnson, and Rep. England are considering running for the Senate as Democrats.