Alabama Political Reporter
Former State Representative Perry Hooper Jr. announced Wednesday that he would not seek the US Senate seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions after his appointment to Attorney General by President Trump.
“After a lot of prayer and thoughtful consideration, Judy (Hooper’s wife) and I have made a very difficult decision: now is not the time to run for Senate,” Hooper said.
Instead of running, Hooper endorsed incumbent and Bentley-appointed Luther Strange for the Senate race. Hooper called Strange an “honorable man” and “true statesman.”
Strange was appointed to the US Senate by Governor Bentley. Strange was investigating Bentley at the time of his appointment.
When asked about Strange’s involvement in Bentley’s case, Hooper said he “didn’t know the details” of the investigation.
Hooper stressed the need to have someone in the Senate seat who was a “strong conservative” and supported President Trump’s agenda. He said that Strange fits the bill and would vote exactly the way Sessions would have.
“Donald Trump needs solid conservative team members in Congress in making his agenda a reality, not obstructionists and not distractors,” Hooper said.
Repealing and replacing Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, cutting taxes on working Americans, and ensuring secured border security were a few issues that Hooper said were essential.
Hooper said he does think that all the declared Republican candidates would make an “outstanding US Senator,” but said if he had run and won he would make “the best Trump Senator in America.”
Hooper was the Trump Campaign State Co-Chair of Alabama during Trump’s run for President last year.
Governor Kay Ivey called for the US Senate seat special election in April following the resignation of Former Governor Robert Bentley.
Republicans who have joined the race include Rep. Ed Henry (R-Decatur), Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, US Alabama Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), Former Christian Coalition leader Dr. Randy Brinson, and Birmingham Businessman Dom Gentile.
People who have declined to run include State Auditor Jim Ziegler, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
Alabama Senate President Pro Temp Del Marsh (R-Anniston) also announced he would not run for the US Senate seat on Wednesday.