Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has thrown his hat into the ring to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate after he vacates the seat to become U.S. Attorney General.
“The people of our state sent me to Montgomery to fight corruption and fight for them. I’ve worked hard to honor that trust,” Strange said. “We’ve led the fight against the Obama administration’s illegal executive overreach, we’ve put conservative principles into action, and we’ve held wrongdoers accountable, even if they were in my own party. I plan on doing the same in Washington.”
Many Alabama politicians have expressed their desire for the seat, including U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt and Bradley Byrne, but Strange took a slightly different approach when he declared his interest.
Though Strange said he would accept an appointment from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley after Sessions leaves office, the Alabama Republican said he plans to run for the seat in the special election no matter who is in office.
Strange, who has held the AG job since 2011, would have a couple advantages in a special election, namely his name recognition and his statewide campaign apparatus. His role as the chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association also gives him leg up in fundraising.
If Strange is not appointed for the interim, it could put whoever is in office at a serious disadvantage by tying them up with the responsibilities of being a senator while also throwing them into a truncated campaign.
Strange’s declaration that he will run for the seat outright might also scare off a few would-be senators who may have to weigh whether a Senate campaign is worth losing their House seat.
Either way, Sessions’ likely ascension to Trump’s cabinet will send ripples through Alabama politics. No matter who ends up in Sessions’ seat, odds are there will be another special election or two in 2017.