As State GOP Rallies Around Roy Moore, a Notable Exception

His would-be colleague in the US Senate, Richard Shelby, wrote in another Republican
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2017 7:37 AM CST
In this Dec. 5, 2017 photo, former Alabama Chief Justice and Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, in Fairhope Ala. Alabama voters pick between Republican Moore and Democrat Doug Jones...   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
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(Newser) – Roy Moore's electoral test comes Tuesday, and he looks to be doing well among Alabama's GOP elite despite allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. "I have stated both publicly and privately over the last month that unless these allegations were proven to be true I would ... vote for ... Judge Roy Moore," Secretary of State John Merrill tells the AP. "I have already cast my absentee ballot and I voted for Judge Moore." Others who plan to vote for Moore include Gov. Kay Ivey; AG Steve Marshall; state Auditor Jim Zeigler; Ag Commissioner John McMillan; state Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh; and Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, former state GOP head; current party head Terry Lathan; and US Reps. Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt. Notably absent is Republican US Sen. Richard Shelby, who said, "I wrote in a distinguished Republican. I did not vote for Judge Moore, but I voted Republican."

The accusations against Moore have left many GOP voters and leaders in a quandary. Voters face the decision of voting for Moore or sending Democrat Doug Jones to Washington, narrowing the GOP's precarious Senate majority. Meanwhile, most GOP politicians in the state must run for re-election next year—where they will face Moore's enthusiastic voting base. Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the GOP primary, told the Washington Post recently that, "I'm staying out of it now. I think everybody knows how I feel about Judge Moore." US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is keeping his vote to himself, saying, "I believe that the people of Alabama will make their own decision" on who fills his old seat. State party loyalty rules say anyone who openly supports another party's nominee over a Republican could be barred from running as a Republican in the future.


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