Perry Hooper Jr. declines U.S. Senate run, backs Luther Strange

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Former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. will not run in the special election for U.S. Senate.

Instead, Hooper, who served as Alabama co-chair of Donald Trump‘s campaign, is endorsing current Sen. Luther Strange.

According to AL.com, the Montgomery Republican had sought the appointment by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to succeed Jeff Sessions after he became Trump’s Attorney General.

In the end, Bentley chose Strange, Alabama’s attorney general at the time.

Hooper held a news conference on the Capitol steps in Montgomery Wednesday morning, where he explained that he made the decision not to enter the race last week. While all the candidates in the race would make “competent” senators, Hooper said Strange was the best to put forward Trump’s agenda.

“We need a strong conservative in Washington who will take up the mantle of Jeff Sessions and support the Trump agenda,” Hooper told reporters. “Every vote Sen. Strange has cast is exactly how Jeff Sessions would have voted.”

Hooper is endorsing Strange based on his vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court and his Strange’s support of a bill to cut funding to sanctuary cities, using that money to build Trump’s wall on the country’s southern border.

He added: “He has assured me that he will be a strong Trump floor leader in repealing and replacing Obamacare, cutting taxes on working Americans, reducing regulations that are stifling economy, rebuilding our border military and ensuring our border security.”

Watch Hooper’s endorsement below:

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