Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to win the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat in Alabama outright and is headed for a runoff election at the end of the month.
With 97% of the precincts reporting in, Session was trailing former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville 31% to 32%, or by roughly 8,000 votes. Meanwhile, Rep. Bradley Byrne came in third with 27%.
Former Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who lost to Sen. Doug Jones (D) in a 2017 special election, failed to win more than 10%.
A significant issue of the campaign was which candidate would be the most supportive of President Donald Trump.
When he announced his Senate bid, Sessions released a video touting the fact that he had not come out publicly out against Trump after a tenure at the Justice Department that was marked by the president lashing out at him.
Sessions declared in the early days of his campaign that he would be the president’s most stalwart supporter in the Senate.
“I was his first supporter in the United States Senate, and if I go back to the United States Senate, he won’t have a more aggressive, determined supporter when I get back,” Sessions told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in November.
Meanwhile, Tuberville sought to tie himself to the president. In an ad in early February, Tuberville declared that “God sent us Trump.”
Trump did not explicitly endorse Tuberville on Wednesday morning, but he shared tweets announcing the runoff. He also blasted by Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and said he lacked “wisdom” and “courage.”
“This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States [and] then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”
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. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins! https://t.co/2jGnRgOS6h— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020
Some noted that Sessions did not officially recuse himself on the first day in office.
Sessions and Tuberville will face off on March 31, leaving the question open as to whether Trump will officially weigh in on the race.