The Latest: Trump congratulates 2 candidates in GOP contest

AP News
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Posted: Aug 16, 2017 9:30 AM
The Latest: Trump congratulates 2 candidates in GOP contest

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on Alabama Senate primary (all times local):

8 a.m.

President Donald Trump has congratulated both Alabama Sen. Luther Strange and former state Chief Justice Roy Moore for making it to the Republican runoff in the U.S. Senate race.

Trump on Wednesday morning used his Twitter account to send congratulations to both men "for being the final two" in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"Exciting race!" Trump wrote.

Trump had previously endorsed Strange in the primary and recorded a telephone message sent to voters on Strange's behalf. However, Trump but did not single Strange out in the Wednesday tweet. Strange had emphasized Trump's backing in the closing days of the campaign.

Strange and Moore will meet in a Sept. 26 Republican runoff.

The runoff winner will face Democratic nominee Doug Jones in a December election.

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4:19 a.m.

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange will face off with Ten Commandments judge Roy Moore in a Republican runoff for the Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore on Tuesday forced Strange into a Republican runoff even though Strange was backed by an endorsement from President Donald Trump and millions of dollars from establishment GOP forces.

Moore has a heavy following among the state's evangelical voters after stands for the Ten Commandments and against gay marriage.

Moore told supporters they had sent a message to Washington "elitists" that they could not control the race. Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February, emphasized his endorsement from Trump in a state where Trump remains deeply popular among GOP voters.

The runoff winner will face Democratic nominee Doug Jones in a December election.