Luther Strange is the U.S. Senator from Alabama and the former state’s attorney general. The Republican is married to Melissa Strange and they have two sons. The couple have been married since 1981.
Strange has been serving as Alabama’s Senator since President Donald Trump chose Jeff Sessions to be his U.S. Attorney General. The 64-year-old Strange was appointed by Governor Robert J. Bentley shortly before he resigned due to a sex scandal.
On September 26, Strange was on the ballot for the Republican nomination to win a full term as Senator and was endorsed by Trump. He lost to Judge Roy Moore.
Here’s a look at Strange’s wife and family.
1. Strange & Melissa Attend St. Mary’s on the Highlands Episcopal Church in Birmingham
Melissa and Strange attend St. Mary’s-on the Highlands Episcopal Church in Birmingham. As a child, Strange attended All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Homewood.
“He worships with us on a regular basis,” the Rev. Huey Gardner, rector of St. Mary’s, told AL.com.
AL.com reported that they also went on a trip to Israel with Gardner several years ago.
“They are very committed people,” Gardner told AL.com. “They are part of the fabric of this church. He is an active, engaged member of St. Mary’s.”
2. A Blogger Claimed Strange Had an Extramarital Affair With a Campaign Aide Who Sued for $3.5 Million
Strange and Melissa have been married for over 30 years, but in a 2013 blog post, Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Shuler, wrote about an alleged “lengthy extramarital affair” with former campaign staffer Jessica Garrison. The post was titled “AG Luther Strange Has A Messy Extramarital Affair With Ex Campaign Aide Jessica Medeiros Garrison” and was published in July 2013.
Garrison filed a defamation lawsuit. In April 2014, AL.com reported that Jefferson County Circuit Judge Donald Blankenship entered a default judgement against Shuler for a combined $3.5 million – $1.5 million in compensatory and $2 million in punitive damages. A few days later, Shuler asked Blankenship to vacate the judgement.
Garrison wrote that Melissa allegedly knew it wasn’t true and even called her.
“Honestly, it was so ludicrous that I did something like a proverbial shoulder shrug and tried to move on,” Garrison wrote. “And thankfully everyone who knows me knew it wasn’t true, including my former boss’s wife, Melissa—we wound up in tears on the phone together wondering why someone would make up such horrible things.”
“I will likely not see a penny from the lawsuit (Shuler doesn’t have the means to pay it), but I don’t care—all I wanted was for the world to know the truth, which is why I’m sharing my story with you today,” Garrison wrote for Marie Claire. “This is about more than just me. It’s about the women who are bullied, trolled, and victimized online because someone has an agenda, or a chip on their shoulder, or a self-righteous feeling that they simply can.”
Shuler is also fighting Marie Claire in ongoing litigation over Garrison’s essay in a federal lawsuit, since he claims there are several errors in the Marie Claire story. In an October 2015 post, Shuler called the Marie Claire piece “filled with false and defamatory statements, plus horrific journalism.”
3. Trump Called Melissa ‘Fantastic’ During a Rally
While Trump’s September 22 rally in Alabama is infamous now because of his comments about NFL players, it was supposed to be a rally to support Strange’s candidacy. During the speech, the president praised Strange’s family.
“I think his wife, by the way, is fantastic,” Trump said of Melissa. “But I said, do I have to have dinner with you and your wife? No, sir, you don’t have to have anything. I’ve supported you from the beginning and you shouldn’t even waste anymore time talking to me. Mr. President, you have my total support.”
Trump said he then told First Lady Melania Trump, “That’s the coolest thing that’s happened to me in six months. OK? It’s true. It’s a true story.”
4. Son Luke Strange Is a Former Congressional Aide for Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner
Melissa’s son Luke Strange is a former Congressional legislative assistant for U.S. Representative Jo Bonner, according to Luke’s LinkedIn page. Bonner represented Alabama’s first Congressional district, which covers Mobile and other southwest counties, from 2003 to 2013. Luke worked for Bonner from 2007 to 2013.
Luke attended Rhodes College, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy. He also went to The Johns Hopkins University for his Master’s in Global Security Studies.
Today, Luke still works in Washington as Government Relations Associate Director for Foreign and Defense Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
5. Son Keehn Strange Was an Intern for Jeff Sessions in the Senate
Melissa’s other son is Keehn Strange. Like his brother, Keehn also has experience in Washington, serving as an intern for Jeff Sessions in the Senate for two months in Summer 2011. According to his LinkedIn page, Keehn attended committee hearings and meetings and made direct calls to constituents. He also set up an informational binder for Sessions’ trip to Brazil and Argentina that year.
After that experience in Washington, the Trinity University graduate headed to Austin, Texas. From 2012 to 2013, he worked as a project clerk for Germer Beaman & Brown PLLC. Since January 2013, he has worked for the Graydon Group, public affairs consultants, in Austin.