Sweet Home Alabama

July 25, 2017

There remains just one special election in 2017 - to fill the Senate seat of beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

With daily rumors that Sessions may be next on the Trump chopping block, the former Senator may be out of the administration before the primary elections to replace him are even held.
In recent weeks the President has stepped up in public criticism of the Attorney General's decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, apparently blaming Sessions for the subsequent escalation of events leading to the hiring of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
While Sessions awaits the ax to fall, the race for his seat is in high gear in advance of the upcoming August 15th Special Election primary.

Alabama is considered a "red" or Republican state, delivering a 62.1% victory to Trump in the 2016 Presidential, but with Trump's approval at 36% (Gallup 7/24), Dems continue to hold out hope for an upset.

Prior to Sessions, who was elected in 1997, the Senate seat was held by Howell T. Heflin, a "blue dog" Democrat, for three terms. Sessions was in his fourth term when he was tapped by Trump for the Cabinet.  Alabama's other Senate seat is held by Richard Shelby (R), who was elected in 1987.
The state's seven Congressional Districts are held by: Bradley Byrne (R-01), Martha Roby (R-02), Mike Rogers (R-03), Robert Aderholt (R-04), Mo Brooks (R-05), Gary Palmer (R-06), and Terri Sewell (D-07).

Democratic Contenders
Candidate Profession Total Funds Raised/Spent
Doug Jones Former US Attorney General for the Northern District of Alabama $158,318/$57,128
Michael Hansen Executive Director for environmental advocacy group Gasp No Report (*Raised less than $5,000)
Robert Kennedy Jr. Radio Host, Environmental Activist $11,600/ $398
Jason Fisher Vice President and Senior Consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz marketing group No Report*
Will Boyd Doctor $6,684/$6,625
Vann Caldwell Talladega County Constable No Report*
Charles Nana African national, turnaround specialist for companies No Report*

The Field

Both parties are fielding a crowded docket of candidates, with now seven Democrats and eight Republicans in the race.

The political parties will hold their primary contests Tuesday, August 15th and, should no candidate secure 50%+ of the vote, the top two vote-getters will square off in a September 26th run-off.

The final Democratic and Republic nominees will compete in the general election December 12th.

Democratic frontrunner Doug Jones raised over $158,000 in his first reporting period (5/8/17-6/30/17), which pales compared to the Republicans, but still puts him at the forefront of his six primary opponents.

Although no current polling is available, earlier numbers showed Jones leading the Democrats and conservative former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore ahead of the GOP pack.

Establishment Republicans are pushing for Luther Strange, who was appointed as interim US Senator until the Sessions seat is decided, and a super PAC backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has launched a website attacking the other major contender, Congressman Mo Brooks.

That makes for almost three more weeks for the Republicans to beat each other up. Let the games continue.

Republican Contenders 
Candidate Profession Total Funds Raised/Spent
Randy Brinson  Doctor; former head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama $180,470/$137,998
Mo Brooks US Congressman (5th CD)
(2012 to present)
$314,813/$110,247 (In addition to $1.2 million in his Congressional acct)
Roy Moore Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice $308,612/$47,272
Trip Pittman State Senator $302,545/$31,447
Luther Strange Former Alabama Attorney General, appointed by then-Governor Robert Bentley as interim US Senator $2,832,873/$1,497,028
Bryan Peeples Birmingham businessman No Report*
Mary Maxwell Australian immigrant No Report*
Joseph F. Breault chaplain at Maxwell Air Force Base No Report*

As always, DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: WKRG.com, Al.com,  Ballotpedia, FEC, Opensecrets.com, NYTimes, RealClearPolitics.com

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