Mo Brooks sent major shock waves today through the August 15 Republican Primary for the US Senate seat held by US Sen. Luther Strange, who holds the seat by the appointment of former governor Robert Bentley (R). Brooks announced that he would step down in favor of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions if the other GOP candidates would agree to resign simultaneously. This series of events, said Brooks in a release, would allow Sessions to be the Republican nominee for the December 12 general election and to return to the Senate, where he has been an active force for conservative policies.
Brooks said, “If President Trump wants a new Attorney General, he has that right. That is why today I am making the people of Alabama a ‘win-win‘ promise: a ‘win’ for President Trump and a ‘win’ for Jeff Sessions.”
Brooks said he consulted no one before making this proposal.
What motivated the congressman is unclear.
He may believe that by issuing such a race-altering statement it would detract from the negative reaction to his recent television ad featuring the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
Or he may sense that since he has been running third in the polls for weeks, he needs to do something to shake up the race.
Or he may believe – and it is a reasonable belief – that Sessions will be forced out of a job as attorney general, either by resignation or by President Trump’s decision to fire him. If that is the case, the proposal by Brooks would indeed solve a political problem for the Alabama GOP. It would also leave Brooks in good graces with many voters when and if he runs for statewide office in the future. On the downside, it would also anger a number of supporters of Roy Moore and Strange.
Whether Strange, Moore or one of the less powerful candidates would agree to this is at least uncertain and probably unlikely. However, if Moore and Strange declined to step aside for Sessions, it might boost Brooks’ prospects in the race.