Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate field will officially have one less candidate.
Early Sunday afternoon, Yellowhammer News learned Secretary of State John Merrill would withdraw his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020.
In a statement provided to Yellowhammer, Merrill confirmed and explained his decision.
Statement as follows:
For the past seven years I have visited every county in Alabama meeting with business and church groups, educators and farmers, as well as county and municipal leaders. I have worked hard to get to know our communities, their leaders and their needs.
For the past five months I have made many of these visits as a candidate for the United State Senate.
I have spoken to tens of thousands of Alabamians about the future of our nation and our need to replace Doug Jones with a conservative Republican Senator who represents Alabama thinking and Alabama values.
Throughout this journey, Cindy and I have been thankful for the outpouring of support we have received. We are grateful for the old friends we reconnected with and for the new friends we have made along the way.
With the announcement by Senator Jeff Sessions on November 7th, the dynamics of this election have changed dramatically.
When I entered the race on June 25th, I, along with my family and closest supporters, saw a path to victory. We met our initial goals and had six months of successful fundraising. We actually led the third-quarter in fundraising for all Republican candidates.
With Senator Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats.
Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, much prayer, some honest discussions with my family and campaign team, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the United State Senate, effective immediately.
I am honored by the support and encouragement we have received and I look forward to my continued service to the people in our state as Alabama’s Secretary of State.
In a follow-up interview, Merrill told Yellowhammer News not to expect him to endorse a candidate in the primary.
“No, I won’t do that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do that because of my role as Secretary of State. It’s one thing as an active candidate. Everybody knows that you’re campaigning and that you’re for yourself. But if you were actually supporting another candidate in the campaign and something happened, and people felt like you were being prejudiced or biased, or supportive of someone and there were some issues, that would be a concern.”
Alabama’s GOP Senate field now consists of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and evangelist Stanley Adair.