Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville advanced to a Republican primary runoff election for U.S. Senate in Alabama on Tuesday. As of 11:15 p.m. ET on March 3, 41% of precincts had reported. Sessions had received 32.5% of the vote and Tuberville received 32.4%. Bradley Byrne had received 25.2%. The runoff will be held on March 31, 2020. A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to win the primary outright.
Sessions held the seat for 20 years before President Donald Trump appointed him as U.S. attorney general in 2017. He has said he committed to the Trump agenda as a U.S. senator and in the Department of Justice. Tuberville, a former college football coach, has called himself the outsider in the race who can stand with Trump.
Roy Moore had received 6.9% of the vote with 41% of precincts reporting. Moore was the Republican nominee in the 2017 special Senate election to fill the seat after Sessions’ appointment. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones by 1.7 percentage points.
Jones was the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate with 53 seats to Democrats’ 45. Two independents caucus with Democrats.