Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

Rick Santorum Endorses in Special Election #AL01

Rick Santorum Endorses in Special Election #AL01

Santorum endorsed conservative columnist Quin Hillyer in the special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., on Tuesday endorsed conservative columnist Quin Hillyer in Alabama’s 1st District special election.

Hillyer, a former editorial writer for the Mobile Press-Register, is one of many candidates who have either announced or are looking at running for the soon-to-be-vacant 1st District. Last week, GOP Rep. Jo Bonner announced he would resign from Congress soon to take a job at the University of Alabama as vice chancellor of government relations and economic development.

“I’ve gotten to know Quin over the last few years and have been enormously impressed with his willingness to fearlessly and without hesitation advance the conservative cause,” Santorum said in a statement to Al.com.

[After the jump: See who else is running in this special election]

The 1st District is a safe Republican seat. Local GOP consultants say that the primary will draw a crowd of Republican candidates.

Aside from Hillyer, consultants said the most likely and viable candidates in the race include:

  • State Sen. Tripp Pittman, a wealthy owner of a tractor company in Baldwin County, a rural area in the 1st District.
  • First-term state Sen. Bill Hightower.
  • Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne, a lawyer who lost a Republican gubernatorial primary bid in 2010.
  • Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, who consultants say is well-respected in the community and has strong name recognition.

An official special election date has not yet been set. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will call a special election once Bonner officially vacates the seat.

According to Alabama election law, Bentley is not confined by a time limit for when he must call the election once Bonner officially leaves.

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