WEATHER AUTHORITY : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Alabama delays March 31 GOP Senate runoff to July 14

Tommy Tuberville (left) and Jeff Sessions

Alabama is postponing its Republican U.S. Senate runoff race between Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville because of the coronavirus.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 5:01 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is postponing its Republican primary runoff between former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions and a rival because of the coronavirus, the governor announced Wednesday.

The runoff between Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville will now be held on July 14, Ivey said. The winner of the GOP runoff will face Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November. The delay also affects primary runoffs for state and local races.

Five other states also have postponed their primaries because of the coronavirus pandemic: Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio. In announcing the decision, Ivey noted the White House recommendation that people avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

“We would be taking a human health risk just by having people stand in line waiting to vote," she said. “I'm also aware that our faithful poll workers are often retired and many among those have the highest risk."

Alabama has 46 confirmed case of coronavirus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, which has cautioned that the number of people carrying the virus is probably higher.

Sessions is seeking to reclaim the Senate seat he held for 20 years before becoming President Donald Trump’s first attorney general. He stepped down from that post when his relationship with Trump soured over his recusal from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sessions has been forced into a tight primary runoff. Tuberville led in the initial round, taking 33% of the vote to Sessions' 31%.

In a statement, Sessions said the “safety and health of Alabamians must take precedence" and challenged Tuberville to debate now that the runoff is months, rather than weeks, away.

“We intend to maintain our vigorous campaign up until the last day, even as we are careful to do so in a manner that puts the health and safety of the public first," Sessions said.

Tuberville did not issue an immediate comment on the decision.

The governor, in urging people to maintain social distancing, practiced what she preached at a news conference Wednesday by standing apart from Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall. Reporters were directed to sit in chairs spaced about 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart.

“Avoid large gatherings, even family and friends, and if you can, please stay home," Ivey said.

Unlike some states, Alabama does not have early voting or “no excuse” absentee voting. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said voters who request an absentee ballot can check the “illness” box if they are concerned about contracting or spreading illness at the polls during the July 14 runoff.

Jones commended Ivey for the decision to delay the runoff, but said the effort to keep folks safe at home should include expanding voting access.

“It’s crucial that we expand access to the ballot box, enact early voting and expand opportunities to vote by mail in Alabama so that all eligible voters are able to participate in our democracy," Jones said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 62°
Columbus
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: °
Starkville
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
A few thunderstorms will likely spring up on Sunday ahead of an incoming cold front that will arrive Monday and bring widespread rain and lower temperatures.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather