Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) on Wednesday echoed sentiments previously expressed by President Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., with Alabama’s senior senator saying a Roy Moore senate bid in 2020 could once again hand the seat back to Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
Before a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting, Shelby was speaking to members of the media and was asked about a potential Moore bid, considering the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice is set to make a formal announcement on his Senate intentions on Thursday.
Per pool reports, Shelby said he would not support Moore if he does indeed announce his candidacy, which is widely expected in the Yellowhammer State’s political circles.
“For a lot of reasons known to you and everybody else…I think Alabama could do better,” Shelby emphasized, saying it would be difficult for Republicans to win back the seat with Moore as the nominee.
Shelby reportedly added that he has spoken with former Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Shelby believes would be “formidable” and would “probably clear the field.”
“I’ve not encouraged him to run, but he’s a friend,” Shelby noted.
Sources have told Yellowhammer News that Sessions is not currently actively considering mounting a campaign to reclaim his old seat.
Besides Sessions, Shelby hinted at other good options being available for Jones to be unseated.
“I think we’ve got a lot of talent in Alabama that maybe could come to the front,” he said.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) are the credible candidates who have formally announced Republican candidacies to unseat Jones thus far.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is expected to make an announcement on his potential Senate bid next week after filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn