Beyond the Presidential Election, Some Races to Keep an Eye on in 2020

It is still really early to start talking about House and Senate Races in 2020. But there have been a few recent developments that are worth noting. The first might be a gift for the Democratic Senator from Alabama, Doug Jones.

Roy Moore, the former Alabama supreme court chief justice who lost one of the safest Republican seats in the Senate after being accused of sexually assaulting multiple teenage girls while he was in his thirties, thinks he can actually pull it off this time.

In a rambling speech in Montgomery on Thursday afternoon, the conservative Republican defiantly announced that he will seek the party’s nomination to unseat Sen. Doug Jones, who pulled off a shocking win in the 2017 special election to replace Jeff Sessions. His new Senate bid comes despite a warning from President Donald Trump he “cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating” for the Republican agenda if he were to try.

It is not a given that Jones will once again face Moore in the general election. Several other Republicans have already announced their candidacies, including Rep. Bradley Byrne; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill; state Rep. Arnold Mooney; and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville. In addition, there’s one more person who is considering a run.

Former attorney general Jeff Sessions has not ruled out running next year for his old Senate seat from Alabama, the state’s senior senator said Wednesday, as Republicans braced for the expected entrance into the race of Roy Moore, their failed 2017 candidate.

“Sessions, I don’t think, has ruled it out,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters. “I’ve talked to him about it. I think if he ran, he would be a formidable candidate. Formidable. I’ve not encouraged him to run, but he’s a friend, and if he ran, I think he’d probably clear the field.”

A Sessions-Moore primary followed by the winner facing off against Jones would vault this Senate race to the top of the list of those garnering attention.

Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY) predicts that the closest thing we’ll see to an O’Rourke-Cruz race in 2020 won’t be in Texas. Instead, it will take place in Kentucky.

Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth said Friday his two top picks to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2020 are Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot whose unsuccessful House race last year caught national attention, and sports radio talk show host Matt Jones.

Yarmuth admitted, however, that either candidate would face long odds in the Bluegrass State.

As a reminder, back in January I wrote that Jones might be the guy who could actually beat McConnell. McGrath, who lost a close race to incumbent Republican Andy Barr in an R+9 district, got everyone’s attention with this introductory ad.

The 2018 midterms brought us a host of women candidates who had served in the military. We might see more of the same in 2020, with Kim Olson leading the way. She will challenge incumbent Republican Kenny Marchant in Texas’s 24th congressional district, which spans the northern suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Check out her kick-ass introductory ad.

Those are just a few of the races to keep an eye on in 2020.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.