Jeff Sessions, now unemployed after having tendered his resignation following his brief career as Donald Trump’s Attorney General pick, may not win back his old Alabama Senate seat thanks to his relationship with Trump, Politico is reporting.
In January 2017, Sessions resigned his Alabama U.S. Senate seat having held the position for over 20 years, in order to serve as the head of Donald Trump’s Justice Department. A special election was held to replace him, and after a contentious campaign that involved accusations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls, Democrat Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore, the Republican who Alabama GOP officials hoped would take over for Sessions and, in the process, keep the seat red. Moore was undone by accusations that he had behaved inappropriately towards teenage girls at various times in his career.
Now, Sessions, 71, may have his eyes on getting his old job back. However, that may be easier said than done. He would have to unseat Jones, which is hardly a foregone conclusion at this point. But before that, he would have to get his state’s Republican Party’s nomination – and that may not happen.
For that, you can thank Donald Trump, say Politico writers Daniel Strauss and James Arkin.
Alabama GOP warns Jeff Sessions he may not win party nomination for his old Senate seat: reporthttps://t.co/pH6vpSZXBB
— Raw Story (@RawStory) November 25, 2018
Donald Trump remains hugely popular in Alabama, and he is no fan of Sessions, having routinely and publicly butted heads with him throughout Sessions’ career as Attorney General.
And that could possibly work against Sessions should he seek the Republican nomination, says Terry Lathan, chairwoman of the state Republican Party.
“The president is highly appreciated for his conservative policy. He’s just slaying it as far as we’re concerned. But I also know how much people admire and respect Jeff Sessions.”
Similarly, Clay Ryan, chief lobbyist for the University of Alabama, said that Sessions has “right of first refusal” when it comes to his old Senate Seat, meaning that Republicans considering running will, of course, defer to Sessions if he decides to run.
“I think there are a number of potential candidates that will want to understand what Attorney General Sessions’ intentions are with respect to the race before they make any decisions.”
However, not everyone is so sure Sessions is the right man for the job. Some Alabama Republicans say Sessions’ age may be a factor. Others say that having served as Attorney General, there’s simply nowhere else for him to go. And perhaps most importantly, Trump may endorse another Republican for the seat, effectively dooming Sessions’ run before it even begins.