Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville aims to defeat Alabama alligator Jeff Sessions for the GOP Senate nomination.
He outpaced the former Attorney General to nab the top spot in Tuesday’s Republican Senate Primary after Sessions failed to secure a majority of votes.
The two will face each other in a runoff on March 31 that will determine which Republican takes on Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in the November election for the coveted Senate seat.
Tuberville may have blocked the swamp creature’s path to slithering back into the Capitol. With 85% of precincts counted, Tuberville garnered 33.6% while Sessions was treading behind him with 31.4%. Three-term U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Fairhope was in third place with 24.5% while former Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, the Republican nominee during the 2017 special Senate election, placed fourth.
Sessions was content to bask in the Washington swamp with his eyes roving, ceding precious turf to President Donald Trump’s enemies when he recused himself from his new appointment as attorney general in 2017.
His recusal from any form of leadership and accountability allowed the FBI to tap former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to lead a probe into bogus claims that Trump and his associates were colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 elections. It later expanded to consider whether Trump was obstructing justice.
Sessions claimed he did not want to be perceived as having a conflict of interest because of his participation in Trump’s 2016 campaign, but he refused to do what an honorable man would — resign.
The president tweeted Thursday: “This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt,” Trump wrote on Twitter, sharing a link to a POLITICO story about the runoff Sessions will face. “Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”
Mueller and former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein roamed unchecked in a quixotic quest to prove that Trump and his associates were Russian operatives and criminals. Trump even urged Sessions to limit the investigation or intervene to end the probe, to no avail.
The public watched as the investigation targeted the president, his family and associates. As indictments stacked up, somehow no Democrats were being charged. After a year no evidence had surfaced linking Trump to any Russian collusion. The public kept waiting, hoping the whole fiasco would shut down.
The probe dragged on through the midterms harming Republican chances of maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives, which they lost to the Democrats. Trump was finally able to unload his Mueller-friendly attorney general, replacing him with William Barr.
Two-and-a-half years after the investigation began The Mueller report was finally released and there were no charges of collusion or obstruction. The country breathed a sigh of relief but not for long.
Mueller had found no evidence of collusion but inexplicably “failed to exonerate President Donald Trump” for obstruction of justice, laying the groundwork for Democrats to impeach the president in October 2019.
Tuberville responded to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday morning declaring, “Mr. President, I could not agree more, and in 27 days help will be on the way!”