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Shelby and Moore still feuding: Shelby says Sessions would “Clear the field”

Brandon Moseley



Roy Moore speaks to reporters and supporters

Today, in Montgomery, former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) is expected to announce that he will be a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Ahead of that expected announcement, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) told reporters, “I think Alabama could do better,” when asked about Moore running for the U.S. Senate.

Judge Moore fired back at Shelby on Twitter.

“If Senator Richard Shelby would have stayed out of the 2017 race, Doug Jones would not be in the Senate now!” Moore said. “The people of Alabama already know what he did in 2017, obviously he feels guilty about helping elect a Democrat. What’s he really afraid of?”

Shelby said that Moore winning the Republican nomination would make it hard for Republicans to win the seat back.

“For a lot of reasons known to you and everybody else…I think Alabama could do better,” Shelby said.

Shelby floated the possibility of former Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) running again.

“I talked to him before. If he got in the race he would be very formidable,” Shelby said.

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Shelby said that Sessions has not made a decision on whether or not to run again.

“He hasn’t said to me yes or no,” Shelby said. “But he’s a good friend.”

Shelby told the Washington Post that a Sessions candidacy would, “probably clear the field.”


Shelby said of Moore, the “people of Alabama will have a choice. I hope they’ll make the right one.”

Much of the Washington establishment is urging Moore not to enter the race. National Republican Senate Committee Chair Corey Gardner (R-Colorado) said that the NRSC would not support Moore if he was the nominee and suggested that the fund, which is supposed to be used to elect Republicans to the Senate could get involved in the GOP primary.

This is all eerily similar to the 2017 special election where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) reportedly urged then Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) to appoint then Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) to the vacancy created by Sessions appointment as President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Attorney General.

McConnell, Gardner, and Karl Rove, who manages the National Republican Senate Leadership campaign for McConnell, and their Washington allies then poured $50 million into Strange’s campaign.

Just about everybody in Alabama would have preferred almost anyone; but Strange; whom they believed (rightly or wrongly) had been appointed Senator by Bentley in exchange for dropping his investigation of the Governor. That Bentley later resigned under threat of impeachment only hardened this view, despite there never being any actual evidence for it.

Undaunted, Strange pursued election to the Senate seat he had been appointed to fill. Backed by his powerful Washington friends, Strange outspent the entire field, including Moore ten to one. Trump even came to Alabama to campaign for Strange against Moore and Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) who finished third in the primary. It was never enough to stop the Moore tidal wave. “Big Luther” was left on stage at his debate with Moore saying that Donald Trump was his friend and sheepishly repeating “He picked me.” Alabama Republican primary runoff voters were not impressed; and Moore bested Strange in a runoff election that was always predictable in its outcome.

Moore appeared to be cruising to a predictably easy ten-point win over former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones until the Washington Post presented allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore, then a single Etowah County Deputy District Attorney in the 1970s.

McConnell and Shelby said that they found the allegations against Moore “credible” and urged Moore to step aside so that the Alabama Republican State Steering Committee could appoint a more suitable replacement candidate.

Shelby and McConnell had both previously ignored more serious and recent accusations by a number of women against Trump during the 2016 campaign.  Ten months after the Moore special election both voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court even though there were women claiming that a teenage Kavanaugh abused young ladies at drunken parties in the 1980s.

Moore refused their advice.

Shelby then took the unprecedented step of urging Republican voters to write in anybody but Moore on the special general election ballot.

Democratic strategists seized on the write-in idea and created thousands of fake social media identities claiming that they were Alabama Republicans who could never vote for Moore. Meanwhile, national Democrats poured over $20 million into the state for Jones.

The dark arts tactics, first used in the 2016 presidential campaign, were exposed afterwards by the New York Times and Washington Post.  The tech billionaire who financed the operation has apologized and the effort, which has been widely condemned even by Jones; who called for a federal investigation of the social media tactics. Jones says that he was unaware of what the Democratic operatives were doing on his behalf and disputes the claim by some Moore supporters that the effort was responsible for his victory.

Some Moore supporters blame Shelby, including apparently Moore himself, for the 2017 defeat. There was even an effort by some to censure the senior Senator at the Alabama Republican Executive Committee’s 2018 Winter Meeting over it. Cooler heads prevailed and that motion was defeated.

Shelby suggested that there were other options, outside of Sessions.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent in Alabama that maybe could come to the front,” he said.

Moore will announce his plans this afternoon.

(Original reporting by the Washington Post, Fox News, and the Hill contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.



Coalition of attorneys general file opposition to Alabama attempt to ban curbside voting

The AGs argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

Eddie Burkhalter




A coalition of 17 state attorneys general have filed an opposition to Alabama’s attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to ban curbside voting. 

In a friend-of-the-court brief, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, the attorneys general argue to that curbside voting is safer for those at greatest risk from COVID-19, and that a ban on the practice would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and Black Alabamians.

They also argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

“The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established by President Trump following the 2016 election, ‘uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud,’” the brief states, adding that there is no evidence that curbside voting in the many states that allow it invites fraud. 

“The practice is longstanding and widespread—as noted, more than half of states have historically offered curbside voting in some form,” the brief continues. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Oct. 13 said the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court ruling allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 ordered ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

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The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, was brought on behalf of several Alabamians with underlying medical conditions. 

“Curbside voting is a longstanding, secure voting option that local jurisdictions have made available to protect the health of vulnerable voters, including elderly, disabled, and voters with underlying health issues,” Racine said in a statement. “Curbside voting minimizes the risk to persons who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and local jurisdictions should be able to offer this common-sense accommodation to voters. State Attorneys General will keep fighting to ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

The brief filed by the coalition of state attorneys general comes as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Alabama has been ticking upward.


Racine is joined in the brief by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Tuberville, Sessions campaign together

The two former Republican primary opponents participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Brandon Moseley



Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

The Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate campaign released a social media video Thursday featuring Tuberville alongside former U.S. Sen. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two former Republican primary opponents had participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Tuberville and Sessions on Wednesday met with representatives of Huntsville’s defense and technology sectors, participated in an event sponsored by the Republican Women of Huntsville and headlined multiple campaign fundraising events.

Sessions said, “Tommy, I support you 100 percent. Alabama must send you to represent us in the Senate. We cannot allow a Chuck Schumer acolyte – Doug Jones – to represent Alabama in the Senate.”

“You see it on his vote on the judges and Kavanaugh and the way he’s behaved about the new nominee, so I think … it would be shocking that Alabama would reelect a Doug Jones,” Sessions continued. “I know you’re going to win. I feel really good about it, and I’m glad that you’re traveling the state hard and that you’re here in this important community.”

The night after Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff election, Sessions committed to doing his part to help defeat Jones and reclaim the Senate seat for the ALGOP.

“After we won the runoff, Jeff Sessions called and told me, ‘Coach, I’m all in,’ and today’s joint events certainly demonstrate that he is a man of his word,” Tuberville said following the video shoot. “Jeff Sessions understands that it’s time we once again had a U.S. senator whose votes reflect our conservative Alabama values, not the ultra-liberal Hollywood and New York values of Doug Jones’s high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”

Tuberville faces a determined Jones, who is flooding the airwaves with ads. Democrats are desperate to hold on to Jones’ seat, believing that his seat could tip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

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Democrats hope to hold onto their control the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent poll by Rasmussen shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a five point lead over incumbent Donald Trump.

Sessions left the U.S. Senate to accept an appointment as Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore to win the seat in the special election.


Sessions was fired by Trump in 2018 and announced his candidacy for Senate the day before qualifying ended. Tuberville had already spent ten months on the campaign trail at that point.

Tuberville defeated Sessions, Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair in the crowded Republican primary. Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He also coached Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Tuberville won a national championship as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. Tuberville lives in Auburn.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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Report: Alabama is fourth-least politically engaged state in 2020

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

Micah Danney




Alabama was ranked fourth from last in political engagement in the country in 2020 in an analysis done by the personal finance website WalletHub.

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, but that only accounts for 61.4 percent of citizens who are old enough to vote. The U.S. ranks 26 in voter turnout among the world’s 35 developed nations. 

“That’s no surprise, considering most states don’t emphasize civic education in their schools,” the report points out. “Large proportions of the public fail even simple knowledge tests such as knowing whether one’s state requires identification in order to vote.”

One of the study’s metrics where Alabama scored lowest was the percentage of the electorate that voted in the 2016 election, which was 57.4 percent. That number is low, said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, and is 4.5 percent lower than it was in the 2012 presidential election.

She said that other factors responsible for the state’s low rank were its preparedness for voting in a pandemic and the low percentage of residents who participate in local groups or organizations.

The report’s assessment of the state’s preparedness for voting in a pandemic included voting accessibility metrics.

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“Alabama actually received a negative score here because of the unnecessary obstacles created for voter access, such as: voters need a notary or two witnesses to complete an absentee ballot, voters are required to provide a copy of a photo ID for the mail application and/or ballot, and mail ballots are due before close of polling,” Gonzalez said in an email.

She said that states ranked at the top of the list, like first-place Maine, have higher engagement due to measures taken by state legislatures. 

“Making it easy for people to vote increases engagement,” Gonzalez said. “This can be done through things like automatic voter registration, early voting, or voting by mail. The existence of local civic organizations involved in voter mobilization also plays a part in this.”


A federal judge ordered Alabama on Sept. 30 to do away with its witnesses or notary requirement for mail-in ballots, and to allow curbside voting for the Nov. 3 election. An appeals court reversed the former ruling on Tuesday, a decision which Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill applauded. It upheld the latter decision, about which Merrill said, “we intend to appeal to the Supreme Court to see that this fraudulent practice is banned in Alabama, as it is not currently allowed by state law.”

Metrics where Alabama ranked below average, with a score of one being best and 25 being average, were as follows:

  • 26th in percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election
  • 35th in voter accessibility policies
  • 37th in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2018 midterm elections
  • 38th in total political contributions per adult population
  • 42nd in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2016 presidential election
  • 45th is the change in the percentage of the electorate who actually voted in the 2016 elections versus the 2012 elections

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Alabama Retail Association endorses Mike Rogers

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said.

Brandon Moseley



Congressman Mike Rogers

Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, this week thanked the Alabama Retail Association for their recent endorsement. Rogers is seeking his tenth term representing the 3rd Congressional District.

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said. “Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the retailers’ 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.”

Rogers was first elected in 2002 after previous service in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Calhoun County Commission. He currently serves as ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mike also serves as a member of the Strategic Forces subcommittee.

Rogers summarizes his conservative ideology with the old adage “the government that governs best, governs least.”

Rogers is a graduate of Saks High School and earned both his undergraduate degree in political science and masters of public administration at Jacksonville State University. He was a practicing attorney and is a small business owner in Calhoun County.

Rogers faces Democratic nominee Adia Winfrey in the Nov. 3 general election.

The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the association’s 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.

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Rogers is a sixth generation East Alabamian and native of Calhoun County. He has been married to his wife, Beth, for 35 years. They have three children. Mike grew up in the small mill village of Blue Mountain. His mother worked in the local textile mill and his father was a firefighter.

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