Donald Trump turns national attention to Ala. Senate election, endorses Luther Strange

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His tweets have the power to dominate a news cycle (covfefe anyone?), to send stock prices soaring — or falling — and to energize the American people behind his policy goals. Yet during primetime Tuesday night, President Donald Trump used his favorite social media platform to turn the attention of the nation somewhere wholly unexpected — to Alabama’s U.S. Senate race.

In a surprise move, Trump took Twitter and endorsed Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, a week ahead of the state’s Aug. 15 primary.

“Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!,” Trump tweeted.

Strange was appointed to the seat in February by former Gov. Robert Bentley following the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is currently serving as a temporary Senate appointment. He is competing to fill out the remainder of Sessions’ 6-year term through 2020.

“I am so deeply honored and humbled to receive the endorsement and support of our President, Donald Trump,” Strange said of the endorsement. “It is an honor to work hard beside him to deliver upon his promises to the American people. Together, we will continue efforts to fill our courts with conservative judges, repeal Obamacare, offer tax relief to hard working Americans, lift this heavy burden of government regulations, rebuild our military and build that wall on our southern border.”

Strange continued, “Our country stood upon a precipice last November, but the American voters spoke out loud and clear, tired of a stagnant economy, political correctness and politicians who don’t listen. President Trump’s election and hard work has given millions of people hope again and I’m proud to stand beside him to make America great again.”

It was a big day of endorsements for Strange. The president’s tweet came just hours after the sitting senator picked up the endorsement of Vestavia Hills-Republican state Rep. Jim Carns, co-chair of Trump’s Alabama campaign.

Strange takes on 10 Republican challengers in the Republican primary including former Ala. Chief Justice Roy Moore and Alabama 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks — arguably his top two competitors.

If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will take place Sept. 26, with the general election scheduled for Dec. 12.

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