Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face ex-college football coach Tommy Tuberville in a Republican runoff March 31 as the former Alabama senator seeks to regain the longtime seat he held. Sessions and Tuberville won the most votes in the primary Tuesday to advance from a crowded primary field the AP reports. Awaiting the runoff winner in November is Democratic incumbent Doug Jones. The 73-year-old Sessions served in the Senate for two decades before becoming President Trump's first attorney general. Tuberville, 65, used to coach at Auburn University. Trump forced Sessions from his Cabinet after harshly criticizing him for withdrawing from the federal investigation of Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.
But during this year's Senate campaign, Sessions still positioned himself as a strong supporter of the president's agenda. Tuberville also closely aligned himself with Trump, who is extremely popular with Alabama's deeply conservative Republican Party. The winner will likely be a strong challenger to Jones, who defeated a scandal-plagued Roy Moore, a former Alabama chief justice, in Dec.. 2017 to become Alabama's first Democratic senator in a quarter-century. Both Sessions and Tuberville scored more than 30% of the vote to advance to the runoff, the New York Times reports. US Rep. Bradley Byrne was third with 27%. Moore, who ignored the advice of senior Republicans and sought a rematch with Jones, was a distant fourth with 6.6%.
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