Roy Moore Expected To Run For Senate Again

Some reports are saying that Roy Moore will run for the GOP nomination for Senate again in 2020.

According to reports, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in a Special Election in 2017 to succeed Jeff Sessions, is expected to announce that he will run for the Republican nomination for that seat in 2020:

Roy Moore hasn’t jumped into the 2020 Alabama Senate contest yet, but one potential GOP rival is already welcoming him into the race.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who launched his Senate campaign in February, told The Hill he’s spoken to GOP sources close to Moore who said the controversial former Alabama judge will announce his candidacy for the Senate in the coming days.

“People who I believe know what they’re talking about say that Judge Moore intends to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in June. I welcome him to the race,” Byrne said in an interview.

Byrne said those conversations took place within the past week, though he has not personally spoken to Moore. A second member of the Alabama congressional delegation said he also has heard that Moore will announce he’s running for the Senate in June.

Moore’s entry would shake up next year’s Senate race in deep-red Alabama, where incumbent Sen. Doug Jones is perhaps the most vulnerable Democrat of the 2020 cycle. Some recent polls have shown Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, leading the field for the GOP nomination.

But Republican officials in Washington have vowed to do whatever they can to stop Moorefrom winning the party’s nomination, worried that he would once again hand Jones a victory.

The 72-year-old Moore lost to Jones in a closely watched 2017 special election after multiple women publicly accused Moore of making sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. At least one woman said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on Moore’s predatory behavior toward young women. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the time he believed the women who accused Moore.

But Moore has denied the allegations, and earlier this month, his wife, Kayla Moore, sent supporters a fundraising email stating 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!”

A Moore spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Asked if Moore could win the GOP nomination, Byrne replied that he could not.

“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,” Byrne said in the interview. Moore’s political baggage “hasn’t gone away.”

“There are some serious pieces of litigation that have come out of all 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,” Byrne continued. “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.”

These unconfirmed reports don’t really come as a surprise, of course. As far back as March, there were reports that Moore might get into the race for the GOP nomination to face Doug Jones and he said later in the month that he was “seriously considering” the idea. In April, a poll of actual and potential candidates for the Republican nomination showed Moore leading the field, In that poll, Moore received the support of 27% of respondents, while Congressman Mo Brooks, who is not presently a candidate for the seat, received 13%. Brooks is a member of the House Freedom Caucus who ran for this seat in 2017 only to come in third place behind Moore and then-Senator Luther Strange, who had been appointed to fill the seat after Sessions became Attorney General. Strange, of course, went on to lose the runoff to Moore and apparently is not considering getting into the race this time around. Congressman Bradley Byrne, who seems to be favored by the state Republican establishment, gets 12%, and Congressman Gary Palmer gets 11%. Other potential candidates came in at less than 10%.

The main reason for Jones’s win, of course, was the fact that in the month before the election Moore was credibly accused by a number of women of having sexually assaulted or harassed them when they were underage and Moore was a thirty-something young county prosecutor as detailed here, here, and here. This led nearly all of the Republicans in Alabama and nationwide to withdraw their endorsements of Moore’s candidacy and national Republican organizations to withdraw from the state and withhold aid from Moore’s campaign. Notwithstanding these allegations, of course, Moore still ended up receiving over 48% of the vote. Given that it’s safe to say that Moore probably would have been elected to the Senate if the sexual assault allegations had not been made public before the election notwithstanding the fact that Moore had entered the race with a controversial history as Alabama’s Chief Justice in which he was removed from the bench twice for refusing to comply with orders from a Federal Court related to the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the State Supreme Court and his refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges overturning remaining state laws against same-sex marriage.

As I’ve said before, any other Republican would have likely defeated Jones rather easily. This is apparent based on the fact that notwithstanding the charges against him immediately prior to the election, Moore still managed to win 48% of the vote. Indeed, Moore probably would have been elected to the Senate if the sexual assault allegations had not been made public before the election notwithstanding the fact that he had entered the race with a controversial history as Alabama’s Chief Justice, including two instances where he was removed from the bench due to his refusal to comply with the directives of a Federal District Court related to the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the State Supreme Court and his refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges overturning remaining state laws against same-sex marriage.

Nonetheless,  Jones’s win was significant given the fact that he was the first Democrat elected to the Senate since Howell Heflin was re-elected in 1990 and Richard Shelby, who later changed parties from Democratic to Republican, was re-elected in 1992. However, it is because of those facts that Jones faces an uphill battle in 2020. This is even truer given the fact that he will have to find a way to win statewide in Alabama in a Presidential election year notwithstanding the fact that President Trump won the state by nearly 30 points in 2016 and is likely to post just as strong a win in 2020. Any other Republican would probably beat Jones easily, but if Moore somehow manages to win the nomination again it could be just what Jones needs to win a full term in the Senate.

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FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Congress, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Oh, dear God. Read this:
    http://www.morallaw.org/america-the-beautiful-by-judge-roy-moore/

    I really love the part about children “choosing to indulge their lusts.”

  2. Joe says:

    Kayla Moore, sent supporters a fundraising email stating that her husband “is not only fighting back in court against those who conspired to destroy his political career. . . .

    Is Moore, in fact, fighting back in court? How’s that going?

  3. Pylon says:

    @Joe: @Joe:
    He’s suing his alleged victims for defamation and conspiracy (that should be fun) and Sasha Baron Cohen for this gem:

    Moore thought he was receiving an award for supporting Israel when he agreed to appear on the show. In the segment Baron Cohen appeared as the bushy-eyebrowed faux counter-terrorism instructor “Colonel Erran Morad” discussing bogus military technology, including a supposed paedophile detector. The device repeatedly beeped as it got near Moore, who sat stone-faced.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/06/roy-moore-sues-sacha-baron-cohen-for-95m-over-who-is-america-stunt

    Moore has lost a motion by SBC to move the case to NY.

  4. Hal_10000 says:

    Glad to hear this. Because the one thing I was thinking was that we don’t have enough delusional theocrats with delusions of grandeur in power.

  5. CSK says:

    I wish I could recall where I read this, but one of Moore’s defenders actually didn’t deny that the 33-year-old ADA had molested a 14-year-old girl. What he said, to justify Moore’s actions, was that any good Alabaman would be proud to have his or her young teen daughter “courted” by such a man.

  6. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I cannot tell whether that was parody or real. I assume parody, but if so, it is parody that has a parody copyright statement.

    But this I find disturbing:

    So many worldly pastors telling lies about our Rock

    I thought that the one thing all Americans could agree upon, regardless of our party or our religion, was that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a treasure. I almost said national treasure, but we share him freely with the world.

    Whatever pastors are telling lies about The Rock should burn in hellfire for all of eternity.

  7. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Still not sure if that site is sarcasm.

    Pro-satire arguments:
    – the Foundation for Moral Law refers to itself as FML, more widely known as an acronym for “F— My Life”
    – one of the posts on the homepage has a YouTube video of someone fiddling with projectors, and then showing an audience of white folks highlights of the classic movie “The 10 Commandments” on a projection TV. And then presumably lecturing for a bit. So weirdly awkward.

    Con-satire arguments:
    – The embedded YouTube video is badly cropped in the browser, showing only the left 2/3rds. I would expect a satire site to be more competent.

  8. CSK says:
  9. Kathy says:

    He’s not serious. He’s just doing it for the royalty payments dictionaries will give him for using his picture under “gall” and “chutzpah” 🙂

  10. CSK says:

    Yesterday Donny Junior warned Judge Jailbait not to run.