Brian McGee says Doug Jones is his choice for U.S. Senate

Brian McGee
[Photo courtesy of Brian McGee]

Two candidates running in the special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat have dropped out of the race and endorsed their former primary opponents.

Democrat Brian McGee announced Monday in a joint press conference with former U.S. Attorney and fellow Democrat Doug Jones that he was exiting the race and throwing his support behind his former rival.

“Doug Jones is our best candidate for the U.S. Senate, and I will spend as much time as I can working to get him elected,” McGee said. “He will serve Alabama and our country well. I am proud to support him.”

Jones accepted the endorsement and praised McGee for his military service and his passion for the state, adding that the Vietnam veteran and educator “will bring that same commitment and excellence to any office he wins.”

Also Monday, Republican candidate Dominic Gentile withdrew from the race citing his wife’s diagnosis of breast cancer two weeks ago and said Huntsville Republican Rep. Mo Brooks would be the best man for the job.

“I have gotten to know the other nine candidates quite well during this process. Most of them are quite nice and capable gentlemen, but there is only one candidate who meets my extremely high standards,” he said. “I am fully supporting Mo Brooks, and here is why: Mo Brooks is the most conservative candidate in this race and he fully supports our President.”

Even with Gentile’s exit, the Republican side of the race is crowded.

Remaining candidates include Brooks, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and sitting U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the post before Gov. Robert Bentley stepped down.

Brooks said after Gentile’s announcement that the latest polling shows a tight race between himself, Moore and Strange, and that the endorsement of his former opponent is “huge.”

The primary for the race will be held Aug. 15, followed by a Sept. 26 runoff if necessary. The general election will be held Dec. 12.