Texas, Alabama, Maine primaries to advance Senate challengers

A slate of primary elections on Tuesday will determine the challengers this fall for incumbent Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas and Susan Collins of Maine.

In Alabama, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who represented the state in the U.S. Senate between 1997 and 2017, is trying to win back his old seat.

Trump, who asked for Sessions’ resignation as Attorney General in 2018, has supported the other Republican in the race, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

The winner will face Jones, who scored an upset win against GOP favorite Roy Moore in 2017 to serve the remainder of Sessions’ term and is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.

“Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville,” Trump said in a recent tweet. Tuberville has said in television advertisements, “I’ll always have President Trump’s back.”

In Texas, Democrats hoping to capture Cornyn’s seat will meet in a runoff Tuesday.

Air Force veteran M.J. Hegar is widely considered the favorite after her unsuccessful bid for a Republican-held House seat two years ago. She earned a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery and established her political credentials by challenging the Pentagon’s policy of excluding women from ground combat.

Hegar faces a challenge from longtime state lawmaker and former prosecutor Royce West, who last week accused Hegar of being a recently converted Democrat who harbors sympathy for the conservative Tea Party movement.

Hegar won 22 percent of the vote in March while West won about 15 percent.

In Maine, Democrats will nominate a candidate to challenge Collins in November.

The favorite is Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, who has built a state record war chest of $23 million after securing support from national Democrats. Seeking to become the state’s first female Democratic senator, Gideon has prioritized bipartisanship and has polled ahead of Collins in some surveys.

Two other progressive candidates for the Democratic nomination are attorney Bre Kidman and social activist Betsy Sweet.

Collins is considered by some a vulnerable GOP candidate in this fall’s election, in which Democrats are hoping to take control of the Senate.

Photo Credit : https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-donald-trump-vice-president-mike-pence-senate-majority-leader-mitch-mcconnell-house-speaker-paul-ryan-congressional-republican-leadership-retreat/

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