U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions will be the first Attorney General from Alabama after President-Elect Donald Trump announced his appointment shortly after election day.
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — For the first time in history, a United States Attorney General will be from Alabama. U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions was one of the first appointees named to the new administration.
Sessions stepped out early in his support of Trump; making national headlines when the senator endorsed Trump at a rally in Madison a few days prior to the “SEC Primary” in February. This endorsement was big, as support for Trump was shaky among conventional Republicans and Sessions’ popularity is high not just in Alabama, but throughout the southern states.
Now the arduous task begins to replace Sessions. The decision will have to be made by Governor Robert Bentley’s office, who according to Al.com and several other state news outlets has reached out to Alabama’s Republican Executive Committee for their input.
According to a statement released by the Governor’s office, Bentley says that he will, “choose an appointee who shares those values and will work to further the agenda of President-Elect Trump, all while keeping Alabama first in his or her mind.”
“This person must uphold the Constitution, value the rights of the Second Amendment, the rights of the states, support pro-life issues, implement a strong national security policy and support domestic job creation,” he added in the statement, released on November 18.
The governor’s appointments office is also utilizing an online survey website to gather information on who the executive committee would like to see take the seat, who many feel is more powerful than the governor himself, especially after the scandals of the last year.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, the committee has over 400 members. The survey also doesn’t ask participants to choose between a list of possible replacements, but instead asks members to submit a name that they would like to see take the seat. It also asks them to provide a question they would like the governor to ask in a potential interview.
While there are a multitude of possibilities that could replace Sessions, here is our short list of candidates that committee members might be recommending: (NOTE: Congressman Robert Aderholt represents DeKalb County, and many other candidates are from the East Alabama area)
- U.S. Congressman Robert Aderholt (R - Haleyville)
- Congressman Aderholt has been representing Alabama’s 4th Congressional District since 1997. Aderholt is a strong candidate for the position, and was named to President-Elect Trump’s advisory board on agriculture back in August. He is currently serving as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on agriculture.
- U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville)
- Congressman Brooks has been representing Alabama 5th Congressional seat since being elected to replace Parker Griffith, who ran an unsuccessful bid for Governor. While Brooks is a strong contender, it’s important to note that he vocally supported Ted Cruz during the Republican primaries.
- Alabama Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R - Anniston)
- Senator Del Marsh has been representing the 12th District in Montgomery since being first elected in 1998. After winning re-election in 2010, Marsh was named Senate Pro Tem. While Congressmen Brooks and Aderholt are already in Washington and are strong contenders, Marsh is extremely popular with the 400 members of the executive committee who will be submitting survey responses.
State Senator Arthur Orr (R - Decatur), Congresswoman Martha Roby (AL CD - 2), and Congressman Mike Rogers (AL CD - 3) are strong contenders who also have expressed interest in serving in Sessions’ place.
Also noted, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has also declared he will be running for the seat in the 2018 midterm elections. Although the governor will appoint someone to fill the seat, there will likely be a special election held in 2018.