Tuesday might go down as one of the biggest days in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race when all is said and done.
As first reported by Yellowhammer News, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville has been endorsed by FarmPAC, the influential political arm of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
The endorsement has been ratified already by the federation’s executive board and subsequently made official in a release.
The federation endorsement is widely considered the most important grassroots support a statewide candidate can have in an Alabama Republican primary, and FarmPAC’s composition and process lends to this credibility.
More than 100 federation leaders, including representatives from all 67 counties, gathered in Montgomery on Tuesday to hear from candidates and make endorsement recommendations, which are then formally approved by the executive board.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell said, “Alabama Farmers Federation was founded to give farmers a voice in the political process and to advocate for issues important to rural families.”
“Candidates are eager to meet with this group because they understand the value of the FarmPAC endorsement,” he outlined. “As representatives of rural communities across this state, these county leaders reflect the values, concerns and hopes of many Alabamians.”
Yellowhammer News learned that during FarmPAC’s consideration of the Senate candidates, a second ballot was needed between the top two vote getters, Tuberville and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), because a majority was not reached on the first ballot.
Reacting to the endorsement in a statement to Yellowhammer News, Tuberville said, “I am humbled by the support of Alabama’s largest grassroots organization. They know that I am the only candidate who will go to Washington and fight for the hardworking people of Alabama and not the special interests. The last thing we need is one more career politician going to DC.”
Before FarmPAC met this week, the organization commissioned a poll of the Senate race that showed Tuberville leading with an even bigger margin than his own recent internal polling did.
With the former football coach already at the front of the pack, this endorsement — which entails financial, grassroots, organizational and phone banking support — is undoubtedly another huge boost for Tuberville’s campaign.
The Republican primary will be held on March 3.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn