Jeff Sessions says voters in the Republican primary runoff need to decide who can do the best job for them in the U.S. Senate.
“They want an advocate in Washington, someone they know will stand up for them to advance their values even when it’s not popular to do so,” Sessions said at a campaign stop in Dothan on Friday.
Sessions spoke with local civic and business leaders at the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, toured Bell Helicopter in Daleville, then returned to Dothan for a news briefing and dinner with local leaders.
Tommy Tuberville led Sessions during the March Republican primary, and the two face off again in the July 14 runoff.
Sessions is trying to reclaim the seat he had held for 20 years before resigning to become President Donald Trump’s first attorney general. Sessions was later forced out of the post after his relationship with Trump soured over Sessions’ recusal in the investigation into Russian interference in Trump’s 2016 election.
Sessions has suggested that Tuberville is not ready to take on incumbent Sen. Doug Jones in November. He said Tuberville has shown “no real passion for any of the great issues” and won’t know how to handle himself in the Senate.
“I can hit the ground running and work with Sen. (Richard) Shelby, who’s so well-placed as chairman of the Appropriations Committee,” Sessions said.
Voters “want a force, and I have been that and I’m ready to do it again,” Sessions said. “The reason they can know that I’m willing to stand for our principles is that I broke with the entire Republican establishment and endorsed Donald Trump.”
Sessions voiced concern about reforms amid the killings of black men by police. As a prosecutor on the state and federal levels, he worked with police officers, sheriff’s deputies and federal law enforcement officers.
“I know the work that they do. I know how hard it is,” Sessions said.
He said groups need to discuss the dangers officers face and how to make sure police and sheriff’s departments are working to make everybody safe.
Sessions supports proposals to improve policing, “but what I would say to everybody — regardless of your race, your religion or values — is that the damage being done to the police department is far more significant than these fixes that are out there.”
“We want strong applications, we want to hire good people, we want to keep them and not have them get demoralized. That is the great threat we face right now,” he said.
Sessions wants the focus to be on people who do wrong.
“You have to make sure that anybody that commits wrongdoing is fully investigated and prosecuted if they committed crimes. That means police, too,” he said.
As a senator, Sessions said he can provide leadership on the issues.
“I’ve fought for Alabama values time and time again, and I’m ready to do so again because I think we have a window of opportunity in the next couple of years to get something historic done,” he said.