Merrill: ‘We are still going full-bore, 100% toward’ GOP nomination, U.S. Senate seat … for now
With Jeff Sessions’ entry into the U.S. Senate race on Thursday, there has been widespread speculation that the field for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020 could lose a contestant or two given Sessions perceived strength as a candidate.
However, when the qualifying deadline passed Friday afternoon, none of the original candidates formally withdrew, giving the March 3, 2020 GOP U.S. Senate primary in Alabama eight candidates.
Listed among those candidates is Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who told Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Friday he was still going “100% full-bore” in the race.
“Senator Sessions called me Wednesday, and we had a good conversation,” Merrill said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “I was anxious to hear from him when he gave me that call. And of course, as of today, we are still going full-bore, 100% toward the Republican nomination, full-bore to the U.S. Senate seat. And what we have to do after 5:00 p.m. today when the field is officially and formally set … is we have to sit back and make a determination about what we need to do and why we need to do it, where we are and where we hope to be. And then we’ll make a formal statement about what we intend to do sometime in the near future.”
Merrill did provide for a way out, which he said had a December 17 deadline.
“Now, I think it is important, Jeff, for people to know that candidates, regardless of whether the qualified or not, can actually withdraw up until the 17th of December because the qualification papers and the certification papers come to the office of the Secretary of State from the state parties on the 18th of December. That’s when they’re due in our office. So we have to make sure that everything is done by that time because [Election Systems & Software] ES&S, which is our election system service provider, will actually be taking those names and putting them on the ballot, and allowing us to print them and get them out to the election managers, as well as the probate judges as we start that process for people to be able to vote on March 3.”