- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2019

A potential wild card came out of the conventional wisdom deck in Alabama this week when reports surfaced that former senator and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions may want his Senate seat back.

Mr. Sessions “has been taking meetings and making calls regarding a run for his old Senate seat,” according to YellowHammer News, an Alabama website. “He is now strongly considering mounting a candidacy.” Qualifying for the 2020 Senate race ends Nov. 8.

Mr. Sessions would be seeking the seat he vacated in 2017 to become President Trump’s first attorney general. His resignation prompted a special election that year, which was won by Democrat Doug Jones after stories broke that his Republican opponent, former state supreme court Justice Roy Moore had sexually assaulted young women decades ago when he was beginning his legal career.

Those allegations, which became a dominant topic in national news, were instrumental in Mr. Jones squeezing out a 2-point victory over Mr. Moore, who is running again in 2020 but has thus far attracted little media attention.

On the other hand, Mr. Moore does enjoy the support of 10.6 percent of likely Republican primary voters, according to a poll from Cygnal, a Montgomery-based company.

The Oct. 10-12 poll showed Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn football coach, leading the Republican field with 32 percent, followed by Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne with 18 percent.

Only in the Mobile area, which he represents in Congress, is Mr. Byrne beating Mr. Tuberville, according to the Cygnal poll, which found, behind Mr. Moore, Secretary of State John Merrill at 8.6 percent and state Rep. Arnold Mooney at 2 percent.

Mr. Sessions could not be reached for comment, although any interest seems more likely now than it might have a few months ago, some state Republicans said.

The state GOP has declined to endorse anyone in the crowded field prior to the primary.

Mr. Jones aligns himself with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, but his votes such as the one he cast against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh prompted Republicans in the state to say he is too liberal. Professional political prognosticators have declared him the “most vulnerable” incumbent senator in next year’s elections.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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