Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange spoke to a nearly full room of supporters — and potential political opponents — on Monday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he addressed members of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee.
The event was one of the first campaign-style stump speeches Strange has given since his announcement that he will run for Jeff Sessions’ senate seat if Sessions is confirmed as United States attorney general.
While Strange’s speech seemed to go over well with much of the crowd, his audience also included several potential political opponents, including state senators Trip Pittman and Bill Hightower, who — in addition to Strange — have been interviewed by Governor Robert Bentley as potential appointments to replace Sessions ahead of any special election.
Beating Attorney General Strange in that special election, though, won’t be an easy feat given the resources he’s already amassing, something he pointed out himself when talking to Lagniappe at the event.
“I have already announced that I’m running for the Senate … and I’m really encouraged by the support we’ve got,” Strange said. “I’ve raised over $700,000 from all across the state … I’d be honored to be selected [by Bentley] but ultimately the people of the state are going to decide who’s going to be their senator. I’m prepared to run because I feel like, based on my record and experience I feel like I’m the best person the take Jeff Sessions’ place.”
Another of Bentley’s options for Sessions’ replacement — and a potential opponent for Strange in an election — is Pittman, a Baldwin County Republican who oversees the state’s anemic general fund. Pittman described his interview with Gov. Bentley regarding the U.S. Senate seat.
“We had a very good interview,” Pittman told Lagniappe, as Strange stood not very far behind him. “I think I made a point of who I am, what I stand for as a husband, father, a businessman. I’ve served in the military. I’m prepared to offer myself for this important position, to try to follow the footsteps of Jeff Sessions, who’s a great senator.
“And now we’re going to see who the governor appoints, and then I’m going to evaluate that, and then you know I’m considering running for the seat, depending on what happens there. I think the people of Alabama need to decide who’s going to be their next U.S. Senator.”
Bentley has said that he will announce his temporary replacement for Sessions’ U.S. Senate seat once sessions is confirmed as U.S. attorney general, and that a special election for the post will not be held until 2018.