Former state Chief Supreme Court justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange (R., Ala.) will face each other in a runoff after being the top two finishers in Tuesday's Republican primary.
Moore finished first in the primary with 41 percent for Alabama's Senate special election, but he failed to reach 50 percent necessary for an outright victory, the Associated Press reports. The primary included ten candidates, with Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) as the main rival to Strange and Moore.
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BREAKING: Sen. Luther Strange, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore head to GOP primary runoff for Senate seat.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 16, 2017
Strange has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and President Donald Trump. Strange received only 32 percent of the vote at the time of the AP's projection, however, and he will need to pick up more votes to beat Moore, whose camp considers the primary a blow to the establishment.
"It’s a repudiation of the Washington establishment," Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead said. "When you’ve got the president making robocalls on behalf of the incumbent senator and we’re still running as far ahead as we are, then that says that there’s a lot of strength of what Roy Moore offers here in Alabama."
Brooks declined to endorse either candidate in his concession speech Tuesday night.
The special election is to determine who will permanently take over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former seat, to which Strange was appointed.