Election 2020

Alabama Governor Appoints Attorney General Strange to Fill Sessions' Seat

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange speaks at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention in Washington on Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

A day after Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was confirmed as attorney general and gave his farewell speech to the upper chamber, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed the state’s attorney general as his successor.

Bentley said today that the special election for the Senate seat will be in 2018.

In the meantime, state Attorney General Luther Strange, who has filled that role since 2011 and had been planning to run for Sessions’ seat, was appointed to join Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in Washington.

“This is truly a remarkable time in our state’s history,” Bentley said today. “Alabama has surely been well represented by Senator Sessions, and I am confident Senator Strange will serve as a fine representative for our people. His leadership on a national level, service as a statewide elected official and long record of taking on tough federal issues are the very qualities that will make him a strong conservative Senator for Alabama.”

Bentley’s office said he “received hundreds of surveys with recommendations from members of the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee and conducted more than 20 hours of interviews with candidates” before selecting Strange.

Strange said in a statement he was “greatly honored and humbled to accept the appointment.”

“Senator Sessions’ commitment to public service is nearly unparalleled in Alabama history and his departure from the Senate leaves tremendous shoes to fill,” he said. “I pledge to the people of Alabama to continue the same level of leadership as Jeff Sessions in consistently fighting to protect and advance the conservative values we all care about.”

At 6’9”, the former Tulane basketball player will be the tallest senator in this chamber.