The 2020 United States Senate election in Alabama will be held on November 3, 2020. Party primary elections are scheduled for March 3, 2020.
Seven candidates are running in the March 3, 2020, Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Alabama. Media attention has focused on five candidates: Bradley Byrne, Arnold Mooney, Roy Moore, Jeff Sessions, and Tommy Tuberville. The race has largely centered on claims of who is most qualified for the office and the most supportive of President Donald Trump (R).
If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the March 3 primary, a primary runoff will be held March 31, 2020.
Sessions held the seat for 20 years before the president appointed him as U.S. attorney general in 2017. Moore was the Republican nominee in the 2017 special Senate election to fill the seat after Sessions’ appointment. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones by 1.7 percentage points.
Byrne says he worked to end corruption in the state Department of Postsecondary Education and that his record as a U.S. House member demonstrates his support for the president. Mooney describes himself as a conservative outsider, referring to his record in the state House and his years in the commercial real estate business. Moore says he stood up for religious freedom on the Alabama Supreme Court and that allegations of sexual assault made against him ahead of the 2017 special election were false. Sessions says he committed to the Trump agenda as a U.S. senator and in the Department of Justice. Tuberville, a former college football coach, calls himself the outsider in the race who can stand with Trump.
Just over two weeks before the primary, Byrne, Sessions, and Tuberville released several opposition ads. Byrne and Tuberville criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election during his time as attorney general. Sessions and Tuberville criticized Byrne for saying that Trump was not fit to be president in 2016 following the release of the Access Hollywood recording. Byrne and Sessions ads said Tuberville supported amnesty for people in the country illegally. Sessions’ ads also called Tuberville a tourist in the state and featured audio of Tuberville criticizing Trump on veterans’ healthcare.
Also running in the primary are Stanley Adair and Ruth Page Nelson.
Jones was the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992. Roll Call named him the most vulnerable senator up for re-election in 2020.Republicans hold a majority in the Senate with 53 seats to Democrats’ 45, and two independents caucus with Democrats. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.