President Trump on Tuesday endorsed Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in his special election campaign, dealing a major victory to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.), who has signaled that Strange is his pick to win in next week’s primary.
“Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
Strange has the backing of McConnell and his allies, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which has angered other candidates by treating Strange as the incumbent in the special election campaign.
Meanwhile, the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC allied with the majority leader, has poured millions into the campaign and attacked Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), one of the candidates running against Strange in the GOP primary.
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Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore currently leads the field of Republican candidates in the polls.
Moore in an ad released Monday slammed McConnell’s “D.C. slime machine,” drawing on Trump’s campaign rhetoric calling to drain the swamp.
Strange was appointed to the seat by former Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) in February following the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE.
The primary will take place on Aug. 15 and will move on to a runoff election in September with the top two contenders if no one wins a majority. The general election will be held in December.
— Ben Kamisar contributed to this report.