Jones and Byrne Have Stacked Up Millions to Lead Fundraising in the US Senate Race


U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne and U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.

Source: U.S. House and Senate


By Glenn Stephens

Incumbent Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Bradley Byrne already have millions of dollars in their campaign accounts as the field begins to form for Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

In reports filed this month with the Federal Election Commission, Jones listed a cash balance of $3.09 million at the end of the first quarter of this year. Byrne, the congressman from Mobile who is giving up his House seat to run for the Senate, reported a balance of $2.04 million.

Candidates are required to file quarterly financial reports with the FEC once they raise $5,000 in contributions. Declared Republican Senate candidates Tommy Tuberville, Marty Hatley and Stanley Adair reported no contributions, as did unaffiliated candidate Jarmal Jabbar Sanders.

Roy Moore, the twice-ousted Alabama chief justice who narrowly lost to Jones in a special election in December 2017, has said he is contemplating a campaign for the office but has not joined the race so far. Jeff Sessions, who held this seat in the Senate for 20 years before resigning to become U.S. attorney general in February 2017, declined to say in an interview with The Associated Press last month whether he is interested running.

Jones is the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate since Howell Heflin retired in 1997. When President Trump appointed Sessions as attorney general, then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to succeed Sessions in the U.S. Senate; Strange lost to Moore in a bitter Republican primary, setting up the Moore-Jones contest.

In a report filed with the FEC earlier this month, Byrne said he transferred a total of $1.81 million from his previous Byrne for Congress campaign and Team Byrne Political Action Committee to his Senate campaign. He also reported raising $253,781 during the first three months of this year.

Jones began the year with $2.13 million in his account and reported contributions of $1.58 million since the first of the year. He transferred $37,800 from his Jones Victory Fund, and the Blue Senate 2020 national organization transferred $30,760 to him.

Candidates must file qualifying papers with the state Democratic and Republican parties by Nov. 8. The parties will select their nominees in primary elections on March 3, 2020, and primary runoffs, if necessary, on April 14. The general election will be Nov. 3, 2020.

Candidates Running in the House

Among Alabama’s seven congressional districts, the only one in which an incumbent will not be on the ballot is the Mobile area, where Byrne is giving up the office to run for the Senate. The other six incumbents have amassed significant campaign war chests.

Following is a breakdown of the districts.

District 1 — Four Republicans have filed with the FEC as candidates; no Democrats have filed. Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl reported a cash balance of $380,064; Douglas Lambert, Christopher Pringle and Bill Hightower reported no contributions.

District 2 — Republican incumbent Martha Roby of Montgomery reported a balance of $356,044. No other candidates have filed.

District 3 — Republican Incumbent Mike Rogers of Saks, the only Republican in the running so far, reported a balance of $612,254. Democrat Hannah Thompson reported no contributions.

District 4 — Republican Incumbent Robert Aderholt of Haleyville, the only candidate to file so far, reported a balance of $783,784.

District 5 — Republican Incumbent Mo Brooks of Huntsville reported a balance of $746,768. The only other declared candidate, Republican Chris Lewis, reported no contributions.

District 6 — Republican Incumbent Gary Palmer of Hoover reported a balance of $329,260. Republican Pope Anders Alexander and unaffiliated challenger Bryant Kaynen reported no financial activity.

District 7 — Democratic Incumbent Terri Sewell of Birmingham listed a balance of $1.59 million. She has no opposition so far.

Environmental Groups Protest New Waters of the US Rule

Environmental groups in Alabama and elsewhere say they will fight to delay or stop a new federal rule that would remove the 1972 Clean Water Act’s oversight of half the nation’s wetlands and many small streams.

JeffCo Commission Approves Fees for Credit, Debit Card Payments to Revenue Department

The Jefferson County Revenue’s Office will now apply a 1% convenience fee on debit and card payments after passing with unanimous consent on Thursday.

Birmingham Council Reallocates Unused CrossPlex Funds to Repave Roads, Under Protest

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to reallocate money from a completed capital project at the Birmingham CrossPlex to citywide road repaving, rebuffing the protests of District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, who called the proposal “unfair.”

Alabama Representatives Flip Votes on Two Measures Involving Cleanup of PFAS Pollution

Alabama’s representatives in the U.S. House flipped votes on two issues last week concerning regulation of PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to cancer. These chemicals have been found in drinking water and land in northern Alabama.

Jefferson County Commission Delays Vote on Fee for Card Payments

The Jefferson County chief financial officer says discussion about a 1% debit and credit card convenience fee should be tabled for another two weeks.