Alabama's 2020 Senate race began to take shape Wednesday, as Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) declared his candidacy. Appearing before a crowd of supporters in Mobile, Byrne pledged to fight for Alabama values. He said that means building a border wall, standing up for the Second Amendment, and defending the lives of unborn babies. Byrne charged that the incumbent, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), doesn't represent "Alabama's interests and Alabama values." Byrne, a conservative and supporter of President Donald Trump, also predicted that he would be the targeted for negative attacks by liberal groups that support Jones.
Jones, who won the seat in a 2017 special election, is widely considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat in the 2020 election cycle. The junior senator has seen his approval rating tumble in the heavily Republican state, after standing with other Democrats to oppose the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Jones also came out against President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Jones's stands are undoubtedly popular among the Democratic Party's liberal base, but they present formidable hurdles as he seeks to win a full term, in a state where the President is highly popular.
Other Republicans are expected to declare for the seat, including state senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh. State Auditor Jim Zeigler says he is considering a bid.