Roy Moore and Luther Strange Win GOP Primary in Alabama Special Senate Election

Roy Moore and Luther Strange Win GOP Primary in Alabama Special Senate Election

Image Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain

Image Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain

Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor

The race to succeed Jeff Sessions has drawn one step closer to finishing. In the August 15 primary, two Republican candidates finished on top while neither got an absolute majority of the vote share. Thus, it will go to a runoff between those two on September 26.

The top two candidates are former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore, and the incumbent Senator who was appointed to replace Sessions, Luther Strange. Strange, who was appointed to succeed Sessions after he became President Trump’s Attorney General, is seen as more of a moderate and the establishment favorite; he enjoys many endorsements from party leaders, including President Trump himself. Conversely, Moore boasts a more conservative record, with his tenure on the Supreme Court including defenses of religious freedom (particularly a monument to the Ten Commandments in front of the Supreme Court building) and opposition to gay marriage. Moore came in first in the primary, with roughly 40% of the vote; Strange came in second with about 32%.

Also in the race was Representative Mo Brooks of the 5th District, who was seen as the most conservative candidate in the race, including a hardline stance on immigration. He enjoyed support from conservative pundits such as Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity, but also faced attacks from party leadership over the fact that he endorsed Ted Cruz in the presidential primaries instead of Trump, among other things. A Super PAC backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2016, the Senate Leadership Fund, ran television ads against both Moore and Brooks. Brooks came in a distant third in the primary, with 20%.

On the Democratic side, the nomination was easily won by former United States attorney Doug Jones, who received over 63% of the vote.

After the contest between Moore and Strange on September 26, the Republican nominee will face off against Jones in the general on December 12.

You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.

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