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Bentley interviews Strange, Roby, others for Senate post

December 29, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has interviewed six more potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by attorney general-designee Jeff Sessions.

Bentley’s office said the latest round of interviews include state Attorney General Luther Strange, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby and U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer. The governor also interviewed businessman Tim James, state Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper and state Sen. Phil Williams of Rainbow City. James is the son of former Gov. Fob James.

Some of the state’s most prominent political figures are vying to replace Sessions, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee as U.S. attorney general. Bentley has so far interviewed 17 people for the potential appointment. More interviews are scheduled this week, according to the governor’s office.

Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, state Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston and Supreme Court Associate Justice Glenn Murdock previously interviewed for the appointment.

Others who interviewed include state Rep. Connie Rowe of Jasper, Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur, Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, Sen. Bill Hightower of Mobile, Sen. Trip Pittman of Daphne, Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa and former state Rep. Perry Hooper of Montgomery.

Bentley will name a new U.S. senator until an election is held to fill the remainder of Sessions’ term. Bentley and Sessions are Republicans. So far all of the potential contenders interviewed by Bentley have also been Republican.

Sessions is not expected to step down until after he is confirmed. His confirmation hearing begins next month.

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The story has been corrected to show that Bentley has interviewed 17 people for the appointment.

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