Gov. Robert Bentley is leaning toward Alabama’s attorney general Luther Strange to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is expected to be confirmed Wednesday as Donald Trump’s Attorney General.
POLITICO reports that three Birmingham Republican insiders have confirmed Bentley’s choice of Strange, but warned it’s not a formal selection, and the governor could change his mind at any time.
Strange, a former basketball player nicknamed “Big Luther,” was first elected as the state’s attorney general in 2010. Insiders say he is planning to travel to Washington D.C. this week for a series of interviews to staff a potential Senate office.
Strange already announced his intention to run for Sessions’ vacant seat, but Bentley has yet to schedule a special election and can appoint someone Senator until he does.
POLITICO suggests one advantage of Strange going to Washington is that Bentley would get to choose a new attorney general, presumably one less inclined to follow through on the governor’s sex scandal last year which led to talks of possible impeachment.
In November, strange had requested the state Legislature to suspend its investigation of Bentley, pending the completion of an investigation by his office.
“Luther is screwed either way,” one source told POLITICO. “If he gets the job, it looks like he cut a deal. And if he doesn’t, it looks like he’s prosecuting Bentley out of revenge.”