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Sessions, an Alabama icon, faces uncertain path to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday he wants to reclaim his old Senate seat from Alabama, where he’s been a conservative icon and dominant vote-getter since the 1990s.

But it’s already clear that President Donald Trump’s enmity toward him, along with an established field of competitors, means he’ll have to battle his way to the Republican nomination.

And early indications are that he may not have robust help from former GOP Senate colleagues, either.

“The people in Alabama will figure this out,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told The Associated Press on Thursday when asked if it’s a good idea for Sessions to run. “We do want to get that seat back, and I’m hopeful we will.”

Sessions, 72, announced his 2020 run on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which touted Sessions’ appearance as his first national television interview since he resigned from the Trump administration in November 2018.

“If I return to the Senate, no senator in the Senate would be more effective in advancing President Trump’s agenda than I would,” Sessions told Carlson.

Sessions was senator until becoming Trump’s first attorney general in 2017. Democrat Doug Jones won the seat from the deep-red state in a special election later that year, defeating Republican Roy Moore, the right-wing lightning rod who faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

Jones is the most vulnerable Senate Democrat facing reelection next year. Both sides see the battle over the Alabama seat as crucial as Republicans fight to retain the majority in the chamber, which they now control 53-47.

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