Rumors and Rumblings 2nd Ed. Vol. IV
“Rumors and Rumblings” is a regular feature on Yellowhammer News. It is a compilation of the bits and pieces of information that we glean from conversations throughout the week.
1. The sands of the U.S. Senate race continue to shift — daily, it would seem. On Monday, Alabama senate leader Del Marsh confirmed to Yellowhammer News that he was not running. The following day, we learned that freshman state representative Will Dismukes was exploring a run. Then on Wednesday Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told “The Jeff Poor Show” that he had engaged in extensive conversations about a candidacy and would decide by the end of May whether to enter the race.
Perhaps getting a feel for what it will be like as a candidate, Dismukes subsequently spoke on Merrill’s home turf to the Tuscaloosa County GOP meeting on Thursday evening. State legislators speaking to groups outside of their district is unusual.
A person very familiar with Tuscaloosa area politics told us this morning of Merrill, “He’s running.”
And staying in T-Town, former Gov. Robert Bentley appeared on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Friday at 2:30 p.m. CST. Yellowhammer News has been told that Bentley is seriously considering a U.S. Senate bid, despite politicos around the state blowing the notion off. In the interview, host Jeff Poor asked Bentley if he is going to enter the race, but the former governor gave a non-answer. Could a Byrne, Tuberville, Bentley field work out like Byrne, James, Bentley did in 2010?
2. We also continue to hear that Congressman Mo Brooks has definitely not made up his mind on the race and continues to mull a run. We were given the “not so fast” warning following a north Alabama report that Brooks was not running. Rumors and Rumblings noted in its last edition a Brooks campaign fundraising invitation making the rounds which did not identify the specific office sought by Brooks. That fundraiser occurred last night.
3. With all the focus on the Republican primary, it was notable to us that incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) may be looking over his shoulder for a primary challenge of his own. The rumblings of concern coming from the Jones camp could simply be an attempt to awaken a potential donor base for the junior senator.
Last reports showed Jones had only raised 12 percent of his campaign dollars from within Alabama’s borders. On the other hand, Jones announced his support this week for former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary. Candidates scheduled to appear on the ballot generally do not involve themselves in other primaries for fear of drawing opposition based on that stance.