Luther Strange announces he is running for Sessions' seat
By Mike Cason
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who had previously told The Weekly Standard that he would run for Jeff Sessions' seat in the U.S. Senate, today made an official announcement.
"Following speculation about my intentions and in response to numerous media inquiries, today I am officially announcing my intention to seek the Senate seat left open by Jeff Sessions' nomination to be our nation's next attorney general," Strange said in a statement.
Strange said he filed the appropriate paperwork with federal election authorities last week.
"The voters will make the ultimate decision about who will represent them, and I look forward to making my case to the people of Alabama in the months to come as to why they can trust me to keep protecting and fighting for our conservative values," Strange said.
President-elect Donald Trump picked Sessions to be the U.S. Attorney General. Sessions still must be confirmed by the Senate to fill that cabinet post.
If Sessions officially vacates the Senate seat, Gov. Robert Bentley would appoint his replacement.
State law also requires Bentley to order a special election for someone to fill the remainder of Sessions' term. Sessions would have been up for re-election in 2020.
The law does not set a specific time for the special election but says the governor must "forthwith order an election" if the vacancy occurs more than four months before the next general election, which is in 2018.
A number of others have expressed interest in succeeding Sessions.
They include U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and state Sens. Dick Brewbaker, Del Marsh, Arthur Orr, Trip Pittman and Cam Ward, as well as former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr.
Strange, in his announcement today, said that for now he would turn his attention to support Sessions' effort to win confirmation.
"Unfortunately, it is clear that many of the same colleagues who have served with Senator Sessions intend to oppose his nomination and will most likely throw out any number of outlandish, false, and scurrilous objections to his confirmation on the basis of pure politics," Strange said.