By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama voters go to the polls on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, to decide who they want to represent them in the US Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions (R) was confirmed as US Attorney General.
There are nine Republicans and seven Democrats vying for the position.
The seven Democratic candidates running in the US Senate Special Primary Election. are: Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Charles Nana.
The nine Republicans running for the US Senate include: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange.
On the Democratic side, former US Attorney Doug Jones has the endorsements and the money. His endorsements include: Joe Reed and the Alabama Democratic Conference, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, and former Vice President Joe Biden (D). Former Navy Lieutenant Commander Robert Kennedy Jr. is however leading in the only three polls The Alabama Political Reporter is aware of. Birmingham area environmental activist Brian Hansen is trying to challenge for a place in the runoff and was in second place in one of the three polls that APR has seen on the race.
On the Republican side it appears to be a three-way race between U.S. Senator Luther Strange, Congressman Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. A recent poll by the Trafalgar Group shows Roy Moore pulling away from the pack, with up to 35 percent of the vote. Strange is in second with 23 percent and Mo Brooks is in third with 19.7 percent. The other six candidates were in single digits. Only 8.1 percent report they are still undecided.
A lot of money has been spent in this race on negative advertising to increase the opposition’s un-favorability ratings. According to an earlier poll by JMC Analytics, Roy Moore has the highest favorability rating at 53 percent, Luther Strange is second with 35 percent favorable, and Mo Brooks trails with only a 31 percent favorable rating. In the same poll, 51 percent viewed Luther Strange as unfavorable, Mo Brooks was viewed as unfavorable by 43 percent, and only 34 percent of likely Republican Primary voters had an unfavorable view of Roy Moore. The JMC Analytics poll had Moore leading the race with 30 percent, Strange in second with 22 percent and Brooks in third at 19 percent, with 17 percent being undecided.
Roy Moore has been endorsed by: former Governor Fob James (R), former gubernatorial candidate Tim James (R), State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City), former ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead, State Representative Rich Wingo (R – Tuscaloosa), American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, the Alabama Constitution Party, Duck Commander Phil Robertson, T.V. and movie star Chuck Norris, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, the Common Sense Campaign (CSC), Gun Owners of America, the Alabama Republican Assembly, and Dr. James Dobson.
Mo Brooks is endorsed by Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Congressman Mike Rogers, Courageous Conservatives PAC, former candidate Dom Gentile, State Representative Ed Henry (R – Hartselle), State Representative Arnold Mooney (R – Indian Springs), Wetumpka Tea Party President Becky Gerritson, Congressman Mark Meadows, Congressman Lamar Smith, Students for Trump, Women Vote Trump. Gun Owners of America, and the Tea Party Patriots.
Luther Strange has been endorsed by: President Donald J. Trump (R), NRA, ALFA, OneNation PAC, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates, The Alabama Rural Electric Association, the National Right to Life Committee, the Home Builders Association of Alabama, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., the President of the National Christian Foundation of Alabama Tom Bradford, retired Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry, Karl Rove, the Senate Leadership Fund, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), former State Representative Perry Hooper Jr., and radio host, Bubba Bussey.
Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Voters must bring a valid picture ID with them in order to vote. If there is a primary runoff, voters must vote in the same party runoff as they voted in the party primary as crossover voting has been outlawed by the Legislature.