Long-time U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby has confirmed that he will not seek a seventh term representing the state of Alabama, setting up a battle for his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Any number of state and local politicians may jump into the contest. Among those almost certain to run are former Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

Jones served two years beginning in 2018 after a surprise victory over former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is likely to be a candidate again this year. Jones liked the job and would still be up there except for the fact that voters favored someone else — namely, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.

Seven terms would have meant that Shelby would have been a member of “the world’s most exclusive club” for 42 years. Correspondingly, if his successor held the office for the same period, he would stay there until 2063. As it is, Shelby will close out his Senate career after six terms and 36 years in that august body.

That is one reason those interested may jump into the race — these jobs do not come along very often. When a U. S. Senator retires, it presents an opportunity for U. S. Representatives from that state to run for the Senate. One of those may be GOP Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama’s third district, which includes Lee County.

Rogers has served the district for about a decade and has made contacts here and in Washington who can help in future statewide races. 

While I have not spoken with the congressman personally about it, I am told he will likely sit the Senate race out to return to the House.


Retired Auburn Attorney Don Eddins is publisher of The Auburn Villager newspaper and the online publication, auburnvillager.com. Before going into law, he was state Capitol reporter for The Huntsville Times and state editor for The Columbus Ledger. In college, he was sports editor of The Auburn Plainsman. Email him your comments about the newspaper to doneddins@auburnlaw.us. 

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