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U.S. Senate candidates Mo Brooks, Luther Strange pick up endorsements

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- In many ways, you can trace the U.S. Senate special election back to an endorsement in February 2016 -- when then-U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions endorsed his first presidential candidate -- Donald Trump.

Now Sessions serves as the U.S. Attorney General.

And his Senate seat is up for grabs.

On Tuesday, candidate U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-5th District, announced the endorsement of the Alabama Patriots -- a Tea Party group. They echoed many of Brooks’ campaign lines, championing his “proven record of conservative leadership.”

They also praised his ethics record.

Luther Strange, Alabama Attorney General

Last week current Alabama U.S. Sen. Luther Strange announced two endorsements of his own -- the National Rifle Association, for one -- which backed him and touted his record on 2nd Amendment issues.

The Alabama Farmers Federation also come through with an endorsement, specifically citing Strange’s record as Alabama’s attorney general. They applauded his challenging of the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule.

The endorsements come shortly after qualifying which ended May 17, but the Aug. 15 primary is just two months after candidacies were announced.

With 11 Republicans and 8 Democrat’s in the field, it's widely anticipated there will be a runoff to follow at the end of September.