Secretary of State John Merrill suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate over the weekend. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was quick to praise Merrill’s dedication to the state and welcome Merrill’s supporters to join his campaign to return to the United States Senate.
“I want to congratulate Secretary of State John Merrill for running a strong race, and for his tireless dedication to the people of Alabama,” Sessions said. “No one has worked harder than John as he has covered every corner of our great state. John has been successful in bringing common-sense reforms and has been recognized nationally for his work to fight against voter fraud.”
“Our campaign is picking up steam very fast; the outpouring of support has been overwhelming and humbling,” Sessions continued. “We are adding thousands of new supporters each week, and we will be honored to welcome all of John’s supporters as well.”
Sessions is running for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones, who won the seat in a special election after Sessions vacated it to become President Donald Trump’s attorney general in 2017. Sessions served in the Senate for 20 years.
“I’m heading to the U.S. Senate because there is an immense battle raging in this country, a battle for the very soul of America,” Sessions explained. “We have great opportunities, but we also have great peril. The Democrats in Washington want socialism, open borders, and an end to our freedoms of speech and religion. The Democrats are mad that I decided to run, and they should be. In Washington, I will fight for the highest and best values of the people of Alabama.”
“When I entered the race on June 25th, I, along with my family and closest supporters, saw a path to victory,” Merrill said. “We met our initial goals and had six months of successful fundraising. We actually led the third-quarter in fundraising for all Republican candidates. With Senator Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats. Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, much prayer, some honest discussions with my family and campaign team, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the United State Senate, effective immediately.”
Merrill is serving in his second term as secretary of state and is term-limited from seeking a third term.
Despite Merrill’s departure from the field, the race for the Republican nomination for Senate remains crowded. Sessions, former Chief Justice Roy Moore, businessman Stanley Adair, State Representative Arnold Mooney, former Auburn football Coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne, and former Dothan mayoral candidate Ruth Page Nelson are all candidates for the office.
Ms. Nelson reportedly faces a formal challenge to be on the Republican primary ballot. That challenge will be heard by a Republican Party committee on Sunday, Dec. 8.