It is looking increasingly likely that former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore will throw his hat into the Republican ring for a chance to run for the U.S. Senate seat he lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017.
While Moore was initially favored to win that race, he was ultimately defeated by Jones “after multiple women publicly accused Moore of making sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s,” recalled The Hill. “At least one woman said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.”
Moore has denied wrongdoing, and late last month his wife, Kayla Moore, sent out a fundraising e-mail to tell supporters that her husband “is not only fighting back in court against those who conspired to destroy his political career, but is also seriously considering another run for the United States Senate!”
Among those Moore is suing are comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime, over a 2018 show in which Moore appeared to be depicted as a pedophile.
While it appears that Moore could have a good shot at winning the GOP nomination, the Republican Party is working aggressively to make sure he does not win the nomination. One Republican who has already announced his candidacy says it seems unlikely that Moore could unseat Jones. “I think people are very concerned that we Republicans lost a U.S. Senate seat because he was our nominee in 2017 and we don’t need to do that again,” said Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne, who announced his own candidacy in February.
Byrne said the political baggage that led to Moore’s humiliating defeat against Jones still remains. “There are some serious pieces of litigation that have come out of all that,” said Byrne, adding that “I personally don’t want to talk about any of that. I want to talk about how we’re going to beat Doug Jones. But I think it’s inevitable it’s going to come up in the primary campaign, and if he was the nominee, it certainly would come up in the general election.”
Among those aggressively opposing Moore’s Senate run is President Trump, who took to Twitter in late May to predict that should Moore indeed run and win the GOP nomination, he would once more lose to Jones, causing the Republicans to forfeit a seat they could have gained had Alabama Republicans fronted a viable candidate.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama,” tweeted Trump. “This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t.”
In a companion post Trump tweeted that if Alabama fails to elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, “many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating . . . Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”
Donald Trump, Jr. followed up with his own Twitter attack on Moore, telling the former state supreme court chief justice: “You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA.” He advised Moore: “It’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
Moore responded to Trump Jr’s insult by noting that “the last time I rode into the sunset, he wasn’t born. I rode so far I wound up in Vietnam where I defended our country.”
Moore accused the president of heeding “bad advice” about him from “the establishment in Washington,” adding, “I think politics are at work and people behind the scenes are trying to force him to distance himself from me. It’s wrong. The truth is they know I’ll win if I run.”
Photo: AP Images