Election Announcement Triggers Senate Scramble

Gov. Kay Ivey Tuesday set into motion a scramble for the U.S. Senate, by announcing she was moving up the timetable for the special election.  Ivey's decision to hold the all-important primary on August 15 was the equivalent of a political earthquake, which caused aftershocks around the state.  Former Gov. Robert Bentley scheduled the election for next year, after appointing Luther Strange to the seat.   Critics charged that state law requires the vote to be held sooner, and State Auditor Jim Zeigler challenged Bentley's move in court.  Just hours after Ivey's announcement, Strange had his first announced primary opponent:  State Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle).  Henry has become a high-profile figure,  in part because of his leadership role in the Bentley impeachment effort.  Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore was expected to announce his candidacy Wednesday.  Several other state lawmakers, including Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Mountain Brook), said they were considering getting into the race.  Observers noted that the lawmakers would get a "freebie," since they could make the run, without giving up their seats.

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