Mar 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Alabama postpones Republican Senate runoff due to coronavirus

Photos: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images; JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Alabama is postponing its March 31 GOP primary runoff election between former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Wednesday.

What’s happening: The runoff will now take place on July 14, with the winner taking on incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D) in November.

Why it matters: The news comes as states scramble to contain the coronavirus during an election season. U.S. officials have warned against gatherings of more than 10 people.

  • Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio have also postponed their primaries.

Go deeper

Trump endorses Jeff Sessions' rival for Alabama Senate race

President Trump talks to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump declared via Twitter Tuesday night that Tommy Tuberville, who is challenging former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Republican nomination for the Alabama Senate, has his "Complete and Total Endorsement."

Why it matters: Sessions touted his Trump ties as he was forced into a March 31 runoff in his bid to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D) in the election and regain his former Senate seat. The president criticized Sessions on Twitter afterward, but he hadn't endorsed Tuberville until now.

Trump campaign demands Sessions stop campaigning on ties to president

Photos: SAUL LOEB, NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign sent a letter to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding that he stop touting his support of the president during his run for his old Senate seat in Alabama, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Trump has had a rift with Sessions dating back to the former attorney general's recusal from the Russia investigation — a decision the president relentlessly attacked him for publicly. Trump has endorsed Sessions' opponent, former college football coach Tommy Tuberville, in the GOP primary runoff election.

DHS official claims 2020 will be "most secure" election in U.S. history

Christopher Krebs, Homeland Security CISA director. Photo: Cheriss May

The 202o election will be "the most secure, most protected election in the history of the United States of America," Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said at an Axios event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: State and local officials, even before the start of party primaries, have voiced concerns that outside interference could disrupt elections in 2020. The recent outbreak of coronavirus has also impacted some state primaries.