The only Republican who could lose a statewide race in Alabama these days is determined to try again. News broke today that Roy Moore, the former judge who lost the 2017 Alabama Senate special election to Doug Jones, was tossing his cowboy hat in the ring once again.
It takes a special level of talent to lose in deep-red Alabama to a pro-choice Democrat, and none of Moore’s baggage from his 2017 election — the series of women and corroborating witnesses who accused him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, getting removed from his judicial offices twice for willfully failing to follow the law, countless comments that many viewed as racist, anti-Semitic, or homophobic — have dissipated, but Moore is determined to cause another round of chaos for Alabama Republicans.
The Washington Post report notes that President Donald Trump, who endorsed Moore in 2017, and top Republicans in his state all voiced concerns that Moore could not win.
“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said at a campaign launch event in Montgomery. “Can I win? Yes, I can win.”
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Alabama’s senior senator, told reporters a few days ago that he did not think Moore could win and he would not support him.
“There are a lot reasons known to you and everybody else,” Shelby said. “I think Alabama could do better. I think he would be a disrupter. I think we can win that seat back as the Republicans but I won’t support him.”
Moore joins multiple other Republicans who have already launched primary campaigns, including Rep. Bradley Byrne, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who resigned his seat to temporarily become Trump’s Attorney General, is rumored to be considering running for his old seat, and is viewed as likely to clear the field.
Moore’s announcement drew swift condemnation from the Senate Leadership Fund, a PAC that supports GOP Senate candidates. They released a statement calling the idea of nominating Moore again “gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer.”
Senate Leadership Fund has a statement out on Roy Moore trying again in Alabama. It is a negative statement. pic.twitter.com/KkjOwC2iFq
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) June 20, 2019
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.