Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce on Thursday that he is entering the race for his old US Senate seat in Alabama, two Republicans with direct knowledge of his plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The two Republicans, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Sessions has not spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about his plan to run, nor has he informed Trump of his decision.
Sessions resigned from his post as Attorney General a year ago at the request of President Donald Trump, after their relationship soured over his recusal from federal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Sessions recused himself from the probe after it was revealed he had contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
Trump repeatedly criticized Sessions over the recusal and said he would never have chosen Sessions for the post if he had known he would recuse himself.
The longtime senator’s candidacy upends the 2020 Republican primary, which has a crowded field competing to challenge Democratic Senator Doug Jones for the once reliably red seat, noted AP.
Despite enduring repeated public mocking, Sessions has remained a Trump loyalist who continues to back the president’s policies.
In a speech last month at a Republican Party fundraiser in Huntsville, Sessions reiterated his support for the president even as he joked about life after being “fired” from a job. Sessions praised Trump’s effort on trade, immigration and foreign policy.
Sessions represented Alabama in the US Senate from 1997 to 2017. He will enter the race as a presumed front-runner, but the effect of Trump’s online and verbal lashings has yet to be seen in Alabama, where the president remains popular.