Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, looking to regain the Alabama Senate seat he once held, enters the homestretch of the Republican primary there in a strong financial position, his campaign boasted Thursday, although for the first time his place atop the polls has fluttered.
With 11 days remaining before voters go to the polls March 3, the Sessions campaign reported $1.89 million cash on hand.
“We are in a strong position heading into the homestretch of the Republican primary,” campaign manager Joe Jones said. “Jeff Sessions is the only proven conservative in this race, and he is going to be the Republican nominee who defeats Doug Jones in November.”
Mr. Sessions raised $446,891 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 12, his campaign said.
The money goes with a leading position in most polls.
On Thursday, however, the conservative Club for Growth released a poll that showed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville surging into first place, getting the nod from 32% of those polled to top Mr. Sessions’ 29%. The Club for Growth has campaigned aggressively against contender Rep. Bradley Byrne.
Most polls show that no Republican is likely to top 50 percent, leading to a March 31 runoff between the top two candidates.
Mr. Tuberville’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment and its fundraising report did not appear to have been posted Thursday afternoon. When the year began, his campaign reported having $1.5 million.
All three Republicans seek to knock off Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat considered the most vulnerable senator since winning Mr. Sessions’ former seat in a special election in 2017. That off-year election featured Mr. Jones running against former state supreme court justice Roy Moore, who faced allegations he had sexually assaulted and behaved inappropriately with underage girls when he was beginning his legal career.
Mr. Moore is in the Republican field again this year, though his bid has gained no traction.
Mr. Sessions vacated his Senate seat in 2017 to become President Trump’s first attorney general. While his GOP challengers have repeatedly accused Mr. Sessions of letting the president down by recusing himself from a Justice Department investigation into claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, Mr. Sessions has painted himself as a strong supporter of the president’s agenda.
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