GOP’s Byrne to challenge Sen. Doug Jones in 2020 election

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Bradley Byrne

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama has announced he’ll challenge Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in 2020 as Republicans try to reclaim the seat previously held by Jeff Sessions.Byrne made the announcement Wednesday in Mobile. The congressman is the first Republican to announce for what’s expected to be a crowded GOP primary field seeking to unseat Jones, Alabama’s lone Democrat in statewide office.

Byrne said Jones doesn’t represent “Alabama’s interests and Alabama values.”

Jones’s campaign responded in a statement, calling Byrne was a “career politician” who has been part of the problem in Washington for years.

“It’s doesn’t matter if Senator Jones has 1 opponent or 100,” the statement from the Jones campaign committee read. “His focus is working for the people of Alabama whether it’s protecting our auto jobs and farmers against dangerous tariffs or building health care infrastructure in Alabama’s rural communities.”

After Sessions resigned as U.S. attorney general at President Donald Trump’s request in November, speculation swirled that he might run for his former Senate seat. But he has taken no public action in that direction.

Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to finish Sessions’ term. Moore faced sexual misconduct allegations, which he denied.