MONTGOMERY, Alabama – President Donald Trump apparently has an affinity for southwest Alabama given it is his preferred destination when visiting the Yellowhammer State.
Following Thursday’s debate between Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, the two candidates vying for the state’s GOP nod in a U.S. Senate special election, Strange was asked in a press gaggle about the importance of Trump campaigning on his behalf on Friday.
Strange emphasized turnout and momentum as two key components in a special election, to which he said Trump’s appearance would add.
However, he also revealed Trump initially wanted to do the rally scheduled for 7 p.m. CT at Huntsville, AL’s Von Braun Center in Mobile, AL, which is on the opposite end of the state.
“These special elections – it’s all about turnout,” Strange said. “It depends on momentum. [Trump] is so excited about coming down here. He’s going to give a very entertaining speech. I talked to him about it at length. He loves Alabama. He wanted to go to Mobile. I said, ‘You’ve been there twice, Mr. President. You need to go to north Alabama. People are going to think you may not like them there.’”
Mobile has indeed been a Trump favorite location. One of his first major splashes as a presidential candidate came at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium in August 2015. Trump also hosted a rally in Mobile after his election win in December 2016.
It’s also the home of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was one of Trump’s early supporters in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.
The Strange’s campaign’s decision could also be strategic, given Madison County, AL was the site of one of Moore’s weaker showings in last month’s primary, with the lion’s share of those votes going to third-place primary finisher Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
However, Brooks endorsed Moore at an event last week held at the same location Trump’s event will be tonight.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor