Most of Alabama’s delegation not interested in Senate race

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Several of Alabama’s congressional delegation, including a few high-profile Democrats, will be sitting out the August primary for the U.S. Senate seat, now held by Republican Luther Strange.

Anniston Republican congressman Mike Rogers is not interested, according to spokeswoman Shea Snider Miller.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports several Republicans rushed to file papers this week after Gov. Kay Ivey rescheduled the special election primary for the seat from June 2018 to August.

Runoffs, if needed, will be in September; the general election is set for December.

Republican congressman Robert Aderholt of Haleyville, tells the Advertiser he has received encouragement to run, and could a decision next month.

But other Alabama congressional delegation staying on the sidelines. U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, the Montgomery Republican, does not plan to run for the Senate this time.

Roby was the only member of the delegation who publicly withdrew endorsement of Donald Trump after audio emerged of him bragging about sexual aggression.

 “With her new committee assignments on Judiciary and Defense Appropriations, Rep. Roby is focused on growing the contributions she is making on behalf of Alabama’s 2nd District in the House,” Roby’s representative Todd Stacy said.

Hoover Republican Gary Palmer and Democrat Terri Sewell of Birmingham also declined to run. Same for Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb.

Indeed, Strange will run for the seat, but the race is beginning to get crowded.

Rep. Ed Henry, a Hartselle Republican who spearheaded the impeachment effort against Bentley, announced Tuesday he will seek the Republican Party nomination for the seat. Also contemplating bids are Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston, as well as Republican state Sens. Slade Blackwell of Montevallo and Trip Pittman of Montrose.

Strange, who served as the state’s attorney general, is taking heat over his Senate appointment by former Gov. Robert Bentley, which some suggest it was because his office was investigating the governor. Bentley resigned last week, pleading guilty to two campaign finance violations.

In his announcement, Henry promised to raise the issue.

Strange, as the incumbent, has many advantages, including statewide campaign experience and an ability to raise a lot of money, something his current opponents lack.

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