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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Trump-backed football coach beats ex-Attorney General for Alabama Senate nomination

Jeff Sessions had resigned as Trump’s attorney general in 2017.

Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Image: Butch Dill/PA Images

FORMER US ATTORNEY general Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat in Alabama to a former American football coach endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Sessions was defeated in yesterday’s Republican run-off by former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who the president tweeted “will be a GREAT Senator”.

The 73-year-old had held the seat for two decades before resigning to become Trump’s attorney general in 2017.

He resigned in November 2018, announcing it to the president in a letter which said the move came at “your request”.

The decision to leave his post came after he endured more than a year of blistering and personal attacks over his recusal from the investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Sessions was gracious to his opponent and to his former boss as he stood alone on stage in a hotel meeting room in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, as members of his family looked on.

He said: “He is our Republican nominee. We must stand behind him in November.”

He said he remains a supporter of the president’s agenda but made clear that he has no regrets: “I leave elected office with my integrity intact.”

But Sessions’s statements of continued loyalty have never been enough for Trump, who endorsed Tuberville after Alabama’s March primary.

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Source: MSNBC/YouTube

He declared on Twitter at the time that Mr Sessions had “let our Country down” and that Mr Tuberville would be the “true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!”.

He continued the broadsides throughout the primary campaign, and he crowed yesterday evening on Twitter shortly after The Associated Press called the race for  Tuberville.

The 65-year-old Mr Tuberville is now positioned to put up a strong challenge against Democratic Senator Doug Jones.

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