MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has suspended his 2020 campaign for the U.S. Senate following former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ late entry into the race.
“With [Former-Sen.] Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats,” Merrill said in a statement.
In the statement, Merrill also said he is looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Alabama as the secretary of state.
Merrill announced his candidacy on June 25, 2019. He was one of several Republican candidates, including Rep. Bradley Byrne, Judge Roy Moore, state Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair. Sessions announced his candidacy Thursday, Nov. 7.
Merrill’s full statement reads:
For the past seven years I have visited every county in Alabama meeting with business and church groups, educators and farmers, as well as county and municipal leaders. I have worked hard to get to know our communities, their leaders and their needs. For the past five months I have made many of these visits as a candidate for the United State Senate.
I have spoken to tens of thousands of Alabamians about the future of our nation and our need to replace Doug Jones with a conservative Republican Senator who represents Alabama thinking and Alabama values.
Throughout this journey, Cindy and I have been thankful for the outpouring of support we have received. We are grateful for the old friends we reconnected with and for the new friends we have made along the way. With the announcement by Senator Jeff Sessions on November 7th, the dynamics of this election have changed dramatically.
When I entered the race on June 25th, I, along with my family and closest supporters, saw a path to victory. We met our initial goals and had six months of successful fundraising. We actually led the third-quarter in fundraising for all Republican candidates. With Senator Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats. Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, much prayer, some honest discussions with my family and campaign team, I have decided to suspend my campaign for the United State Senate, effective immediately.
I am honored by the support and encouragement we have received and I look forward to my continued service to the people in our state as Alabama’s Secretary of State.