Speed Reads

election day

Alabama Republicans vote today on their Senate nominee after strange, brutal campaign

Alabama voters will cast ballots on Tuesday in Republican and Democratic primaries to pick their nominees for a Dec. 12 special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who gave up his Senate seat to become President Trump's attorney general. The Republican fight is getting all the attention, since Alabama is reliably Republican and hasn't had a Democrat in the Senate in 20 years. Trump has endorsed the incumbent, Sen. Luther Strange (R), in a series of tweets, including one Tuesday morning, and a robocall on Monday, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has contributed millions of dollars in ads for Strange through a super PAC.

Still, Strange is in a tough fight for second place with Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Al.), who is running as the anti-McConnell, pro-Trump candidate. The consistent frontrunner is Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who gained fame as the "10 Commandments judge" for refusing to remove a 10 Commandments monument from the state courthouse despite a federal order, and then for ordering probate judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling establishing the right to same-sex marriage — both of which got him removed from the bench. He is promising this time to "drain the swamp." The top two vote-getters will face off on Sept. 26.

There are seven candidates on the Democratic side, but the two expected to make the runoff (or win outright) are former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden and favored by local Democratic Party leaders, and business executive and Navy veteran Robert Kennedy Jr., who, like Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), is not related to the famous Kennedy political dynasty.