Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to qualify to run for U.S. Senate in this year’s special election. The grand total? Nineteen candidates.
There are 11 Republicans:
-Senator Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat by former Gov. Robert Bentley
-Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore
-Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks
-State Sen. Trip Pittman
-Christian Coalition of Alabama President Randy Brinson
-Hoover businessman Dom Gentile
-Birmingham businessman Bryan Peeples
-Prattville attorney Karen Haiden Jackson
-Pelham physician James Beretta
Gordon Harvey, Jacksonville State University history professor, says three things will dominate the the Republican primary.
“Trump, God and Robert Bentley,” Harvey says. “Who’s closer to God, who’s closer to Trump, and who is far away from Bentley.”
That’s because Bentley resigned after allegations of an affair and pleaded guilty to ethics violations. Harvey says that could be a problem for the man Bentley appointed, Luther Strange.
“Strange has, for lack of a better term, the Bentley stain all over him,” says Harvey. “I think all the competitors in the Republican primary are going to try to hang Bentley around Luther Strange’s neck.”
A Virginia-based conservative super PAC has announced a $2.6 million dollar ad buy in support of Strange, and Harvey says that gets to another theme he sees emerging: is Washington money electing a senator, or are the people of Alabama?
For Democrats there are eight names to consider
-Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.
-Michael Hansen, the executive director of the environmental advocacy group GASP
-Marketing consultant Jason Fisher
-Engineer Charles Nana
-Florence pastor Will Boyd
-Robert Kennedy Jr.
Jacksonville State’s Gordon Harvey says while the Democratic primary has some colorful candidates, Alabama is such a conservative state, the Republican primary is essentially the election. He predicts a runoff.
The primary election is August 15. A runoff would be in September. The general election is December 12th.