Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to launch a bid for his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, according to multiple reports, and the Republican's announcement could come as soon as Thursday.
What are the details?
One source told The Hill that Sessions "will come out forcefully in support of [President Donald] Trump's agenda while denouncing Democrats' impeachment efforts. And steps have already begun to hire campaign staff."
Alabamans first elected Sessions to the U.S. Senate in 1997, and the Republican held on to that seat until 2017 when he gave it up in order to serve as President Trump's attorney general. But his time in the Trump administration was rocky, after Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions resigned a year ago at the president's request.
Despite his previous tension with the president, The Hill reported that "Sessions has remained popular in Alabama, a state Trump won with 62 percent of the vote in 2016." But, according to NPR, Sessions "was running without the coordination or support of the GOP establishment. One source told the outlet, "He is definitely acting alone."
If Sessions does decide to jump in the race, however, he can count on the endorsement of Alabama's senior senator and fellow Republican Richard Shelby, Roll Call reported. In addition to saying he would throw his support behind Sessions, Shelby told reporters of the former attorney general, "He's been very popular in the state for a long time."
When is the deadline?
The deadline for Sessions to file for his candidacy in the race is Friday. If he does run, he'll face a crowded Republican primary on March 3, including former Alabama state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore — who threw his hat in the ring a second time in spite of low poll numbers and rejection from GOP leadership after he lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the 2017 run-off to replace Sessions.
Sessions, for his part, is scheduled to appear on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Thursday evening to discuss the race.