So far, most of the attention paid to who will oppose Sen. Doug Jones (D) has centered around former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and members of the congressional delegation, naturally including announced candidate Bradley Byrne, the Mobile area Congressman. On Friday, Secretary of State John Merrill (R) came forward to declare his interest in becoming a candidate.
Mr. Merrill would be the second statewide contender. Just before the first of the year, state Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) declared that he was exploring the Senate race but has not shown much in the way of activity, since.
A large field means a secondary run-off election is likely and increases Judge Moore’s chance of advancing, should he decide to run. The Alabama race is a must win for the GOP if the party is to cushion its 53-47 US Senate majority.
Having to defend ten more seats than the Democrats in the 2020 election, the Republicans need this conversion race to potentially put the majority out of reach. The Alabama primary will be in early June 2020, with a run-off if no candidate reaches majority support scheduled for some point in mid-July.
The Rundown Blog
Learn more about the candidates running in key elections across the United States.