Who will challenge Sen. Luther Strange? With new election date set, here are some possibilities

Sen. Luther Strange is the only declared candidate for the Senate seat he assumed in February after then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him to replace Jeff Sessions. Bentley had set the special election to coincide with the regular election cycle next year, with the primary in June 2018 and general election in November 2018. New Gov. Kay Ivey changed that schedule yesterday, setting the primary for Aug. 15. A runoff, if required, will be Sept 26 and the general election on Dec. 12. Here are some possible opponents for Strange.

by Leada Gore , lgore@al.com

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Bob Gathany

In the race - Sen. Luther Strange

Strange, Alabama’s former Attorney General, was named to Sessions’ seat in February. While considered a leading candidate, questions arose about his role in the investigation that led to the resignation of former Gov. Robert Bentley.

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Paul Gattis | pgattis@al.com

In the race - State Rep. Ed Henry

Henry, the Hartselle State Representative who started the impeachment proceedings against Bentley, has entered the race.

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Mickey Welsh

Considering - State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh

Marsh, who was among those interviewed by Bentley for the position, said he will decide this week if he's running.

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Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

Considering - State Senator Slade Blackwell

Blackwell, of Mountain Brook, is a partner in the development firm Inkana Healthcare Development.

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Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

Considering - State Sen. Trip Pittman

Pittman, of Fairhope, won a special election in 2007 to replace former State Senator Bradley Byrne after he took over as chancellor of the state's two-year college system. Pittman won reelection in 2010.

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Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

Considering - Former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr.

Hooper, of Montgomery, is a former Republican legislator who served as the state campaign chairman for Donald Trump. Hooper said he is "prayerfully considering this opportunity to serve the citizens of Alabama and I will be making a decision concerning the election shortly."

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Lisa Stinnett, Website staff

What about...other names to consider

There are several other names being mentioned in relation to the Senate election.

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Paul Gattis | pgattis@al.com

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt

Aderholt, a Haleyville Republican, was among those considered by Bentley to replace Sessions, who is now the U.S. Attorney General.

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Paul Gattis | pgattis@al.com

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks

The Huntsville Republican sought appointment to Sessions’ seat.

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Bob Gathany

State Sen. Arthur Orr

Orr, a Republican from Decatur and an influential voice in the State Senate, had said he would be willing to serve in the role if appointed by Bentley.

"If asked, I would serve," he told the Decatur Daily. "If not, I'm happy to represent the people of my senate district."

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Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com

ADECA director Jim Byard Jr.

Byard, the former mayor of Prattville, was interested in the job in February, according to the Tuscaloosa News. He's the current director of the of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, appointed to the cabinet-level job by Bentley in 2011.

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Howard Koplowitz | hkoplowitz@al.com

US Rep. Martha Roby

The Montgomery Republican has indicated she would be willing to serve in a higher office. If appointed to the Senate, she would be only the third woman to represent Alabama in the state’s history. Like Strange, Roby has been mentioned as a possible candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial race.

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Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

US Rep. Mike Rogers

Rogers didn’t actively campaign for the Sessions’ seat but indicated he would accept it if offered.

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Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore

Moore, currently suspended from the state’s High Court over his defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s order on same-sex marriage, has indicated he’d like to seek higher office. He was among those interviewed by Bentley ahead of Strange’s appointment.

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Paul Beaudry

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox

Maddox’s name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2018. He’s almost the proverbial unicorn in Alabama – a popular Democrat.

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Anna Claire Vollers

Who won't run - State Sen. Cam Ward

“A one word emphatic answer when asked if I would run- NO,” Ward tweeted Tuesday. “Making me one of three people in entire state not running.”

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