- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 14, 2019

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions looked to bolster conservative support at the Federalist Society’s annual convention in Washington on Thursday as he builds his nascent bid to become an Alabama senator again.

Mr. Sessions last week announced his campaign to take the seat he left to run the Department of Justice, and he has spent the interim publicly working to gain President Trump’s support of his candidacy.

On Thursday afternoon, he courted conservatives and praised the Federalist Society audience of right-leaning lawyers, judges and influential conservatives for helping him during his tenure running the Justice Department.

“No interest organization advocating for certain values and principles has been more effective, I think, at least in the last 50 years, maybe ever, than the Federalist Society,” Mr. Sessions said. “It’s so helpful to the Department of Justice and President Trump to receive your advice and information on judges for nomination.”

Mr. Sessions touted the Trump administration’s hard line against sanctuary city policies and he said it was necessary to view immigration policy as a federal matter. Mr. Sessions also touted his work in the Senate on the Judiciary Committee’s immigration-focused subcommittee.

The room responded with a few bursts of applause during Mr. Sessions’ remarks and appeared all ears to hear from the 72-year-old Republican staging a political comeback.

Mr. Trump, however, has given Mr. Sessions the cold shoulder.

Mr. Sessions rolled out his campaign on Fox News last week and said he hoped to talk with the president about his effort but had not been provided the opportunity. He returned to Fox News on Wednesday night and again courted Mr. Trump’s support.

Mr. Sessions on television called for Republicans to be more vocal in opposition to the impeachment hearings against Mr. Trump and to take the case directly to the American people.

Mr. Sessions also previewed on Fox News the priorities of Mr. Trump’s agenda he thinks Republicans need to run on in 2020: “Ending illegality at the border, standing up to China, [and] being more restrained in the deployment of American forces around the globe in hostile places.”

“[Mr. Trump] didn’t have a better supporter in the U.S. Senate than when I was there. I was his first supporter in the U.S. Senate,” Mr. Sessions said on “The Ingraham Angle.” “And if I go back to the United States Senate, he won’t have a more aggressive, determined supporter when I get back.”

For Mr. Sessions to earn the chance to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Doug Jones, he will need to navigate a more-competitive-than-usual GOP primary.

Among Mr. Sessions’ competition is former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who has secured the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation’s political action committee. Mr. Sessions, a graduate of Auburn’s rival University of Alabama School of Law, ran unopposed for reelection in 2014.

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