GOP Candidates Headed For Runoff In Race For Sessions' Senate Seat

Democrats selected former federal prosecutor Doug Jones, but no GOP candidate in Alabama's special primary election got a clear majority of the vote.
Posted at 9:30 AM, Aug 16, 2017

Voters in Alabama cast their ballots Tuesday to choose who will compete in a special election to fill the Senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Democrats selected former federal prosecutor Doug Jones, but the Republican candidate is still up in the air. 

Jones swept the Democratic primary, receiving almost 66 percent of the vote. The second-place finisher, Robert Kennedy, received about 18 percent. 

The Republican primary received much more attention leading up to the vote. That's at least partially due to President Donald Trump's last-minute push for Sen. Luther Strange, who was chosen to temporarily fill the seat back in February.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also threw his weight behind Strange. But that led to challengers U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore attacking Strange as an establishment figure. 

Moore got about 39 percent of the vote Tuesday. Strange got about 33 percent, and Brooks trailed with almost 20 percent.

Because no candidate received a majority of the vote, Alabama election laws require Moore and Strange to compete in a runoff. That vote will be held Sept. 26. 

The winner of the runoff will go on to challenge Jones in the special election Dec. 12.