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Will Whatley: Time to make Senate race about Alabama

By WILL WHATLEY, Alabama Daily News

It didn’t take long for President Donald Trump to weigh in on the run-off in the Alabama GOP Senate race to nominate a candidate to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.

In a tweet the morning after the election, Trump dunked on Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, for recusing himself from the investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election and blaming him for the “Witch Hunt” that ensued.”

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Who knows if more tweets from the commander-in-chief are to come. But Trump doesn’t live here in Alabama.

Set aside what Trump thinks of Sessions, because, honestly, what Sessions did was the right thing to do. Sessions was involved in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and had no choice but to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. Besides, if Robert Mueller’s so-called “witch hunt” found no wrongdoing, then it was imperative that Sessions recuse himself so that nothing Mueller found, or didn’t find, could be tainted by supposed political favoritism.

But this isn’t about Trump. And it’s not about Sessions either. It’s about us.

This is about who can best serve us in the world’s most prestigious legislative body. It’s about who can do the most for our farmers, for our veterans, for our military bases, for our businesses, and for our citizens.

Now I’m not here to suggest you vote for one candidate over another. Personally, I believe you should do your own research and find the candidate who you think will best represent you and your interests. No, this is a direct plea to the remaining candidates to make this race about Alabama and her citizens.

For months, we’ve heard a handful of gentlemen talk a lot about Donald Trump. We’ve heard them talk about their support for some of his policies, but little about what they would do to improve the lives of everyday Alabamians.

And that’s a crying shame because we deserve someone who’ll fight for us and not just whoever occupies the White House.

Should Sessions or Tuberville defeat Jones, he’ll serve a six-year term which would outlast Trump’s possible re-election to office and maybe even have to serve Alabama outside of a Republican administration. So it behooves us to elect someone who will serve our interests and not the president’s.

We need someone who will fight for our veterans, of which more than 375,000 call Alabama home according to the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. We need someone who will fight for our farmers, who owned more than 40,500 farms in 2017 according to the Alabama Farmers Federation, which is down from over 43,000 farms in 2012. We need someone who will fight for education, for rural healthcare, for small businesses and the state’s economy. We need someone who will fight to protect our freedoms, our liberties, and our way of life.

We deserve someone who will fight for Alabama. And until that man shows himself, we’re left choosing someone who will only serve the president. And that’s not fair to us.

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