Around the South for Jul. 25: AL, VA & TN


Alabama: GOP senators side with Sessions. Interviews with nine Republican senators who are former colleagues of Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) showed strong support for the AG in his dispute with President Trump over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian investigation, writes David Hawkings in Roll Call. “He’s a totally honorable man…” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). “I respected the recusal decision when he made it and I still respect it now.” ……. Tennessee: ’18 gubernatorial candidates raise major dough. Financial disclosures last week, reported in The Tennessee Journal, showed that on the GOP side Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd reported raising $4.34 million by June 30; farmer Bill Lee reported $2.75 million; and State Sen. Mae Beavers reported $57,000. House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) entered the race last week and won’t have to file a financial report until January. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the lone Democrat in the race so far, reported bringing in $1.2 million ……. Virginia: Candidates for governor hold first debate. Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie took starkly different positions on issues in their first debate on Saturday, reported the Washington Post. Their biggest divergence: President Trump. Northup said he stood by his comment that Trump was a “narcissistic maniac.” Gillespie, noting the governor has to deal with the president, said, “What are you going to do – call the White House, ‘Please put me through to the narcissistic maniac?” …….