Ex-Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville Facing Jeff Sessions in Alabama Senate Runoff

The winner will take on Democratic Senator Doug Jones in a general-election race

Tommy Tuberville Facing Jeff Sessions in Alabama Senate Runoff
Tommy Tuberville coaching the Auburn University Tigers in 2008. (Ned Dishman/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / July 13, 2020 10:47 am

A retired football coach who spent 10 seasons at Auburn and went 85-40 with the Tigers is going into overtime in his Alabama Senate race against Jeff Sessions.

Tommy Tuberville, who also coached at Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Cincinnati, is the only coach in Auburn’s history to beat in-state rival Alabama six consecutive times. He’s hoping Alabama voters will remember him as a winner when they head to the polls on Tuesday and that his double-digit lead results in a win over Sessions.

Tuberville has the backing of President Trump:

Sessions never lost a race during his two decades as an Alabama senator and, after endorsing Trump in the 2016 presidential race, was rewarded with a position atop the Justice Department as the United States attorney general. He resigned from that role in 2018 after angering Trump by recusing himself from the investigation into whether the president’s campaign was involved in Russian meddling in the election.

Now, with Trump backing Tuberville in a state that loves football, Sessions may be set up for a loss with a recent Auburn University at Montgomery poll showing Tuberville with 47 percent support and Sessions at 31 percent, with the rest of the voters undecided.

“What really seems to be driving voters away from Sessions is his recusal as attorney general from the investigation into Russian meddling,” David Hughes, the Auburn assistant professor of political science who conducted the poll, told The Wall Street Journal. “That question alone separated Republican voters out more than anything.”

Whichever candidate wins the GOP runoff will have the advantage heading into November against Democratic Senator Doug Jones in what is likely the Republican Party’s best opportunity of the year to pick up a seat.

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