Byrne launches early Senate bid ahead in sure-to-be crowded race

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Rep. Bradley Byrne launched a bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Doug Jones, hopeful to get an early jump on other Republican competition in a race that is sure to be a crowded field. 

Byrne, the 64-year-old Mobile native, has served as Alabama’s District 1 Congressional representative since 2014. He lost a bid for the Republican nomination for Alabama Governor in 2014, after a five-year stint in the Alabama State Senate. 

“We need to send somebody to Washington representing Alabama who has Alabama conservative values,” Byrne said. “The senator we have there now is not representing Alabama’s conservative values. I want a senator who represents me, who will fight for the things that matter for me, and most Alabamians do.”

In a statement, the Doug Jones campaign responded to Byrne’s campaign announcement saying Byrne “has been part of the problem in Washington for years.”

According to campaign finance filings, The Jones campaign has over $2 million in cash-on-hand ahead of the 2020 race. Byrne has $1 million, with both candidates sure to raise more money in the weeks and months to come. This January State Auditor Jim Zeigler announced he’s forming an exploratory committee and eyeing a possible run himself. 

Many pundits think Byrne has been eyeing a challenge to Jones since the former U.S. Attorney upset former Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in the 2017 U.S. Senate Special election. The congressman is sticking to a familiar theme for Republicans running for office, citing his fighting for ‘Alabama values’ and touting a conservative voting record. He hopes reliably red Alabama won’t vote blue in 2020.

“The vast majority of us want someone that will go to Washington and fight for the conservative values that we all hold,” Byrne added. 

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