The Latest: Jeff Sessions announces 2020 run for Senate seat

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal law enforcement action involving China, at the Department of Justice in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions running for U.S. Senate (all times local):

8:19 p.m.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will attempt to win back his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama after a tumultuous time in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

The Republican announced his 2020 run Thursday on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight." The seat is currently held by Democrat Doug Jones who pulled off a huge upset in 2018.

The 72-year-old Sessions was a popular figure in Alabama during 20 years as senator. But next year's race will test how much that popularity has taken a hit under withering criticism from Trump.

Their relationship soured when Sessions as attorney general recused himself from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Trump blamed Sessions for what he frequently called a "witch hunt" by an independent prosecutor.

Sessions hasn't returned the criticism.

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12:30 p.m.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to return to his old Senate seat from Alabama.

But it's already clear he'll have a fight on his hands.

Knowledgeable Republicans say Sessions will announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Thursday. He's been a conservative icon and dominant vote-getter in the state since the 1990s.

Yet a well-known football coach, a GOP congressman and the GOP's last Senate nominee -- the controversial Roy Moore -- are already fighting for the nomination.

And Sessions' expected entry into the race is receiving a neutral welcome from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Asked if he thought it's a good idea for Sessions to run, McConnell tells The Associated Press that Alabamans will "figure this out" and he hopes to win the seat back.