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Jeff Sessions falls short of majority in Alabama Senate primary, likely leading to runoff

Sessions to run for former Senate seat
Sessions to run for former Senate seat 05:42

Although much of the country is focused on the Democratic presidential primaries, another critical primary is taking place on Super Tuesday: the race to become the Republican nominee to face Democratic Senator Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate election.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is looking to reclaim his old seat, but polls showed him failing to gain a majority and neck-and-neck with former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, likely leading to a runoff election. Sessions and Tuberville were trailed by Congressman Bradley Byrne and Roy Moore, the controversial candidate who lost to Jones in a special election in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls.

Both Sessions and Tuberville hovered around 30%, according to results listed on the Alabama secretary of state's website. Sessions needed to receive a majority of votes to become the party's nominee.

Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump during the 2016 election, and served as attorney general until November 2018. Sessions was often berated by Mr. Trump publicly for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, an action which resulted in the appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller. However, Sessions has maintained his support for Mr. Trump, and has capitalized on his relationship with the president during his campaign.

Mr. Trump expressed disdain for Sessions' performance in the primary in a tweet Wednesday morning.

"This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn't have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!" Mr. Trump wrote.

A runoff election would occur on March 31, leaving candidates little time to campaign.

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