Arnold Mooney joins crowded 2020 Alabama Senate field

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Doug Jones
Sen. Doug Jones leaves a meeting with fellow Democrats just before a procedural vote aimed at reopening the government, at the Capitol in Washington. [Photo Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File]

Republican state Rep. Arnold Mooney announced Monday that he is joining the 2020 race for U.S. Senate.

The Shelby County Republican is seeking the seat currently held by Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones. He joins a Republican field that includes Congressman Bradley Byrne and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, who have already announced primary bids.

“Alabamians want a conservative and an outsider with a backbone, and we are going to give them one,” Mooney, 68, wrote in his announcement on social media.

Mooney is a second-term legislator. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. He was re-elected in November.

Republicans are trying to recapture the U.S. Senate seat once held by Republican Jeff Sessions, who was President Donald Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones, a former U.S. attorney, defeated ex-state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in a special election in 2017 after Moore was accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers. He denied the allegations.

Jones is the only Democrat to hold statewide office in Alabama.

The Senate primary is March 3, 2020.