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Jeff Sessions Is Out, and Other Primary Results

Tommy Tuberville, endorsed by Trump, beats former AG in Alabama
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2020 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 15, 2020 1:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat in Alabama to former college football coach Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday, likely ending a long political career with a bitter defeat egged on by President Trump. Tuberville, 65, beat Sessions in Tuesday’s Republican runoff as Sessions fell short in his attempted comeback for a seat he held for two decades before resigning to become Trump’s attorney general in 2017, the AP reports. Familiar to Alabamians from his decade as Auburn University’s head football coach, Tuberville won about 60% of the vote, according to unofficial returns, and is now positioned for a robust challenge to Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. With Alabama’s strong GOP tilt, the seat is likely Republicans’ best chance for a pickup as they try to maintain their thin Senate majority amid Trump’s lagging popularity nationally.

Sessions, 73, was wounded by Trump’s criticisms after he recused himself in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Sessions was gracious to Tuberville, whom Trump had endorsed, pledging he'd work to help defeat Jones. “He is our Republican nominee,” Sessions said. “We must stand behind him in November.” Trump, for his part, tweeted, "Tommy Tuberville WON big against Jeff Sessions. Will be a GREAT Senator for the incredible people of Alabama.” Maine and Texas also held primaries Tuesday. Notable results:

  • In Texas, Trump's former White House physician, Ronny Jackson, won the Republican nomination for a US House seat, former GOP Rep. Pete Sessions got a step closer to returning to Congress, and Democrat MJ Hegar won the race to challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
  • In Maine, state House Speaker Sara Gideon won the right to challenge Sen. Susan Collins, widely considered one of the GOP's most vulnerable incumbents.
(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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