Jeff Sessions is now the Attorney General of the United States, and his old Senate seat is up for grabs in a special election. The primary election is less than two months away. After that, all eyes will be focused on December 12th, election day. This election shines the national spotlight directly on Alabama as it faces its first competitive Senate race in ages – and there are lists of people aiming to take the seat.
Refined Right is here to breakdown both the Republican and Democratic frontrunners for the special election:
- US Congressman Mo Brooks- Rep. Mo Brooks is one of the three considered “frontrunners” on the Republican side. He is well known in his North Alabama and has never shied away from controversy. In 2014, Congressman Brooks told a Huntsville radio station that Democrats are waging a “war on whites” by using what he considers divisive rhetoric to create racial division. A couple of months ago he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that people who live ‘good lives’ shouldn’t have to pay as much for healthcare, and has said he supports any measure to force illegal immigrants out of the country, “short of shooting them.” Congressman Brooks was also one of the three names on congressional shooter James T. Hodgkinson’s “list.” He already has endorsements from Sean Hannity, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL), and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC). Thank
- Former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore- Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is the second candidate that is considered a “frontrunner” and he may be the best known candidate in the race, after years of controversy and two high profile removals from the high court. For two decades, he has waged a high-profile campaign against the federal courts – twice defying orders from U.S. judges. His actions have turned him into a national figure, admired by some as a righteous defender of Constitutional and Christian principles and condemned by others as a dogmatic lawbreaker who doesn’t recognize federal authority. Moore calls himself a “statesman.” Many of his supporters treat him like a celebrity – posing for pictures and asking for autographs.
- US Senator Luther Strange- Former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s tenure in the US Senate is not even four months old but may be in trouble due to being handed his Senate seat by a scandal-plagued governor who resigned on the verge of impeachment by lawmakers in Montgomery. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP insiders are going all out to rescue Strange in his campaign this year, treating him like a Republican-Senate veteran.
Other GOP candidates:
- Dr. James Beretta- The Pelham doctor continues a recent trend of medical doctors seeking political office, from former Governor Robert Bentley to Democrat Parker Griffith, seeking a career change, Dr. James Beretta is seeking the Senate seat because he is “disillusioned” with Washington, he told AL.com, “I’m tired of the corruption,” he said. “I’m tired of the purpose of me being in office is to promote my own ideology and not what’s being voted on and passed.”
- Joseph Breault- Joseph Breault, a chaplain at Maxwell Air Force Base, is the rare politician that actively avoids the spotlight. When reporter Howard Koplowitz reached him by phone, he simply responded “How did you get this number?” before ending the conversation and missing a scheduled phone interview.
- Randy Brinson- Gastroenterologist Randy Brinson throws another stethoscope in the ring. Brinson, who is also the president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, has helped get prominent politicians elected for years but has become increasingly disillusioned by their behavior.
- Mary Maxwell- Mary Maxwell had never lived in Alabama when she heard about its open primary and candidacy rules. She moved here after spending the last four decades in Australia and lived the requisite one day in state before declaring her candidacy.
- Dr. Will Boyd- Dr. Will Boyd is no stranger to politics – he is the current chairman of the Lauderdale County Democratic Executive Committee and ran an unsuccessful but active race in 2016 as the Democratic nominee against Mo Brooks in north Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.
- Jason Fisher- Jason Fisher’s political journey began with a personal tragedy. The unexpected death of his wife five years ago left him as a single parent to a child with special needs. He was thrust into the complex health insurance system as a result, and he’s running for Senate on a mission to fix it. He has worked in marketing and development.
- Michael Hansen- Michael Hansen so far seems to resonate with supporters online. And his platform sounds more like that of Bernie Sanders than Jeff Sessions. The 35-year-old, openly gay nonprofit exec from Birmingham has made a career in environmental advocacy. He supports increasing the minimum wage and transitioning to all renewable energy sources, among other policies. He calls himself “Alabama’s progressive candidate,” a title he’s proud of even in a state as conservative as Alabama. Hansen is confident he can appeal to more than just the Bernie Sanders crowd.
- Doug Jones- Doug Jones faces the uphill battle of being elected as a Democrat in a deeply red state but he is the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination. He’s up for the challenge, however, and says it’s time we moved past the “meaningless rhetoric” used by “pandering” politicians. He is a 63-year-old former U.S. Attorney, is best-known for the prosecution of Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry. They were convicted of murder for killing four young girls in the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.
- Charles Nana- Perhaps more than any of the other Democrats in this field, Charles Nana knows what a Senatorial race takes. He finished second in last year’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, earning more than 100,000 votes. The 51-year-old has his work cut out for him, this time. He lives in Birmingham but works in Nashville, and he’s facing a Democratic field that is potentially tougher than last time around.
- Robert Kennedy Jr.- Kennedy calls himself a “conservative Democrat” who wants to “lead by faith” and is a proponent of gun rights. Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the United States Naval Academy, a Master of Science in Leadership & Human Resource Development from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. Kennedy’s online profile also includes previous marketing-related jobs with companies such as Harrah’s Entertainment and Toys ‘R Us.