- AL Reading Service
Freshman Democrat Doug Jones, widely regarded as the most vulnerable member of the U.S. Senate in the November general election, heads into the race against Republican Tommy Tuberville with a huge cash advantage, according to reports the candidates filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.
In reports for the second quarter of this year, Jones showed a campaign balance of $8.78 million while Tuberville, who defeated former Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday for the GOP nomination, listed his cash on hand at $551,285.
While Jones was unopposed for the Democratic nomination, Tuberville has waged two campaigns this year to win his party’s nomination. He led a field of seven candidates in the March 3 primary, then finished off Sessions in this week’s runoff.
Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach who is making his first bid for public office, reported raising $1.82 million during the second quarter of this year. Since the election cycle began, he’s collected $3.15 million in contributions, plus a $1 million loan from himself. His report indicated that $750,000 of the loan has been repaid by the campaign.
The GOP nominee listed disbursements of $78,806 in the April-June period and $3.60 million overall, including the partial loan repayment.
Jones, who in 2018 became the first Alabama Democrat to serve in the Senate since Howell Heflin retired in 1997, reported net contributions of $2.45 million for the period of April 1 through June 30. That brought his total for the election cycle to $16.36 million. He reported net operating expenditures of $2.10 million for the past three months and $11.44 million overall.
Sessions listed net contributions of $48,228, plus loans of $150,000, for the quarter. Overall, he showed contributions of $2.11 million, plus the $150,000 in loans and $2.48 million that he brought into the race from previous Senate campaigns.
He reported operating expenses of $167,516 from April 1 through June 30 and $4.62 million overall. His cash balance was $531,043 at the end of June.
Tuberville is regarded as a heavy favorite in the Nov. 3 election because of his party affiliation as well as his strong support from President Donald Trump.
Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump for president in 2016 and was rewarded for his efforts with an appointment as attorney general. When he resigned from the Senate in 2017 to accept that nomination, then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Luther Strange to the seat on an interim basis. In a special election in December 2017, Jones defeated twice-ousted Alabama chief justice Roy Moore after a bitter campaign to claim the seat.