A full field of candidates hope to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. The field in the special election includes 11 Republican candidates and 8 Democrats. One of the candidates is Luther Strange, who was selected by former Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the seat when President Trump made Jeff Sessions the U.S. Attorney General. Here is how the race shakes out now:
• Roy Moore – The former Alabama Chief Justice has been elected by the people twice. According to most “political experts,” he appears to be fairly certain to be in a run-off.
• Luther Strange – The former Alabama Attorney General was appointed by former Gov. Robert Bentley – is spending lots of money and appears to be DOING well financially..
• Alabama State Senator Trip Pittman – Although already active in politics, Sen. Pittman says he is proud of the fact that he is a successful businessman. He is the owner of a company that sells tractors. He feels this experience sets him apart from other candidates. Sen. Pittman hails from South Alabama, the town of Montrose, between Daphne and Fairhope, and he will be a factor for that reason.
• U.S. Representative Mo Brooks – Currently he represents the Huntsville area in Congress, being elected to the House in 2011. It appears Rep. Brooks will also be well funded. He will also be a factor in the race being from North Alabama and being well financed.
• Dr. Randy Brinson – Former head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. Founder and chairman, “Redeem the Vote.” Dr. Brinson runs on a platform positioning himself as a “voter advocate and faith leader” in opposition to what he terms “career politicians.”
• Dominic Gentile – A newcomer to politics, this candidate has never run for office before. He founded and runs his own company, managing commercial cleaning businesses throughout the state. He supports term limits, a flat tax, and says he will refuse campaign donations from “special interests.”
• Bryan Peeples – Another political newcomer, he is a Birmingham businessman, territory manager for Heartland Payment Sytems and President and CEO of his own business, Peeples Consulting. Peeples says he is a fiscal conservative and believes in small, limited government.
• Doug Jones – He is a former U.S. Attorney and now is in a private practice, Doug is best known for successfully prosecuting those responsible for the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four young girls. Doug says recent political leadership has “embarrassed” the state, and feels politicians are not focused on the real concerns of the people, including jobs, health care and education. If any Democrat can win statewide, Doug would be that candidate.
• Michael Hansen – Billed as an “unexpected” candidate by AL.com, Hansen is the executive director of environmental advocacy group Gasp. He also is openly gay. He says he decided to enter the race because he believes Alabama politics needs “new blood.” He says he supports universal health care, policies to streamline immigration, advance renewable energy, and protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.
• Robert Kennedy, Jr. – He is referred to as a “mystery” candidate with a famous name by AL.com. As of press time, no additional information was available, other than Mr. Kennedy is from Mobile.
• Jason Fisher – He hails from Orange Beach, where he is vice president and senior consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a direct marketing company. He told AL.com his reason for running is that he feels the people have lost confidence in their elected officials. He feels Alabama will benefit from having a representative not tied to lobbying groups in D.C.
I have previously predicted a very low turnout for this special election with the primary being held on August 15. If necessary, the run-off will be on September 26. Thus far, nothing has happened to make me change my mind in that regard. It may well be the lowest turnout ever for a U.S. Senate race in Alabama.
Sources: AL.com and WAAY-TV
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