Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama, announced Wednesday he is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones.
Byrne made the announcement in Mobile Just down the street from where he grew up. Friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s in downtown Mobile.
In announcing his candidacy, Bradley emphasized that his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, presenting a clear contrast between what he called his Alabama roots and the radical polices being pushed by the Democrat Party, including Senator Doug Jones.
“The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines,” Byrne said. “I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama. We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable, and protect the Second Amendment. I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”
Byrne says that he will now head out across Alabama for the remainder of the week to meet directly with hard-working Alabamians. He will be in Montgomery on Thursday.
Byrne’s decision to run for Senate means that his First Congressional District seat will be open in 2020, and likely highly sought after.
Byrne’s opponents were quick to react to the announcement.
Doug Jones’s campaign released a statement: “Given the results of his losing bid for Governor in 2010, in which he did not even win the Republican nomination, it’s hard to see why they would nominate a career politician like Bradley Byrne now. He has been part of the problem in Washington for years.”
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) is also considering running for Senate.
“I set up an exploratory committee considering a 2020 run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Doug Jones,” Zeigler said in a statement on Wednesday. “I am getting a positive response from voters to my unique issue. We need a watchman against waste in Washington. I have served as a watchman in Montgomery and can be a watchman in Washington.”
“Montgomery wastes millions of dollars, but Washington wastes billions,” Zeigler said in a statement. “The national debt has just passed $22 trillion. No one is standing firm to balance the budget and start a plan to begin paying off the national debt. I can do that just as I took the lead against waste in Montgomery. My decision must be made by November. My decision will be based on the response of Alabama people to this question: ‘Do we need a watchman against waste in Washington?’”
State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, announced earlier this month that he is seriously looking at running for U.S. Senate.
“Alabamians are clear: we want a Senator who shares our conservative values and will work with President Donald J. Trump to build the wall and drain the swamp,” Marsh said on social media Wednesday night.
There are likely to be several other Republicans declaring for Senate between now and the qualifying deadline in November.
The Jones campaign said: “It doesn’t matter if Senator Jones has 1 opponent or 100. His focus is working for the people of Alabama whether it’s protecting our auto jobs and farmers against dangerous tariffs or building health care infrastructure in Alabama’s rural communities.”
Jones narrowly defeated Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) in a special election in 2017. Jones is the only Democrat to win a statewide race of any kind in Alabama since 2008.
The Republican primary will be in less than 13 months and the general election will be November 2020.