By Alton Mitchell
Super Tuesday was several months ago as voters turned out to cast their votes to decide who would be the president of the United States. As voters have put down their ballots under the assumption it would be two years before they would be called to vote in the mid-term election, the impact of an appointment following the victory by President Donald Trump has left a void in Alabama’s senate and now local voters must again return to their polling places to vote fill that void.
Shortly after the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States. Trump began to make his appointments to various positions of his cabinet. One position was award to Alabamian Jeff Sessions. The appointment of Sessions to a federal position left a large vacancy in Alabama’s senate seats. Several names are in the hat of candidates who wish to fill the seat left open by Sessions. On Tuesday voters in Chambers County and Alabama will hit their local polling sites to decide who they think should represent the Republican Party in the December 12th election.
The candidate who takes the seat left by Sessions has some big shoes to fill. In 2014 Session’s ran for re-election. In that race he ran unopposed and secured 97% of the vote in his favor. Alabama has historically been a Republican strong hold, meaning the winner of Republican Primary stands a significant chance of being victorious in the December election and gaining the vacated seat. In November’s Presidential election Donald Trump was able to secure 62% of the votes in Alabama. A Gallup poll in July of 2017 show that 55% of Alabamians approve of the current job The President is doing.
A top contender in the primary election is appointed incumbent Senator Luther Strange. Strange was appointed to the position by former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley until an election could be held to fill the seat with a permanent elected representative. A late-July poll by Cygnal shows Strange holds 33% of votes heading into the primary.
Following close behind Strange is former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Moore has an estimated 26% of voters behind him in the Cygnal poll. U.S. Representative Mo Brooks follows in third place with 16% of voters favoring the candidate.
While Strange, Moore, and Brooks are seen as the top contenders for the seat there are several other names on the ballot seeking to fill Attorney General Sessions vacated seat. They include James Beretta, a Birmingham-area pain management specialist.
Candidate Joseph Breault has kept a very low profile heading into the election. He is a chaplain at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery. Breault has been very silent in the election. AL.com has reported that he was so silent that the GOP was unaware of who he was.
Randy Brinson’s name will also appear on the ballot. Brinson has ties to Maxwell Air Force Base as well where he was a Chief of Gastroenterology. Brinson is a military veteran who has ran his campaign in accordance with his strong Christian background.
Candidate Mary Maxwell is one of the more unique candidates on the GOP ticket. The native of Massachusetts is known to travel the state of Alabama by Greyhound Bus. Mawell told AL.com she learned of the election on Yahoo News and moved to the state of Alabama from Australia and became a resident of Alabama in June.
Candidate Bryan Peeples is one of the younger candidates on the ticket. The 37-year-old is a consultant for small to medium sized hotels and restaurants. He is running a campaign that focuses on improvements in the middle income population sector of Alabama.
Trip Pittman will be the final candidate appearing on the GOP ticket in the primary election. Pittman previously ran for the senate seat in 2007 shortly after surviving a plane crash. If elected he would be the first senator to represent Alabama in over a century who was not a lawyer. He has called himself the natural replacement for Sessions.
All of the candidates appear to be in close agreement with the President on several issues including the controversial border wall. The winner of the primary election will appear on the December 12th ballot and face off against a democratic challenger. The race is seen as very close between Strange and Moore, with Brooks falling closely behind. In order to be declared victorious in the election a candidate must have at least 50% of the vote in their favor.
If a candidate does not have the 50% majority a run-off election will be held on September 26th to determine the victor. There is some worry that voter turnout will be very low due to the election falling in an off year. Polls will be open from 7:00 am- 7:00 pm on Tuesday August 15th.