Roy Moore announces he'll run for US Senate in Alabama again in 2020

(Supreme Court of Alabama)

Alabama Republican Roy Moore announced Thursday that he is running for U.S. Senate again in 2020 after failing to win the seat two years ago amid sexual misconduct accusations.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 5:31 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Republican Roy Moore announced Thursday that he is running for U.S. Senate again in 2020 after failing to win the seat two years ago amid sexual misconduct accusations.

With his return to the political stage, Moore ignores the urgings of some Republican Party leaders to stay out of the race as he aims for an eventual rematch against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who bested him in the 2017 special election to fill the seat previously held by Jeff Sessions.

"I will run for the United States Senate in 2020. ... Can I win? Yes, I can win. Not only can I, they know I can," Moore said during his announcement. "I believe in America. I believe we've got to have politicians that go to Washington and do what they say."

After the announcement, Jones told The Associated Press that Moore's candidacy "is not good for the state of Alabama."

"I think a very divisive Republican primary just got more divisive and extreme," he said.

He said the race to become the GOP nominee will boil down to "either an extremist like Moore or it'll be an extremist who will be hand-picked by Mitch McConnell," the Senate majority leader who's opposed Moore in the past.

Moore made his announcement after disparaging GOP efforts to keep him out of the race and dismissing his 2017 loss as the result of "fraudulent" election tactics.

"My question is to you: Why is there such a fear? Why does the mere mention of my name cause people to get up in arms in Washington D.C?" Moore said.

Some state and national Republicans, worried that Moore is too polarizing and could jeopardize what should otherwise be a reliable GOP seat, have discouraged him from entering the race. Republicans see retaking the Alabama seat as a top priority in 2020.

"Alabama can do better than Roy Moore," the state's senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, told reporters shortly before Moore's announcement.

He declined to say what he would do to try blocking Moore but said he believed "a lot" of Republican groups would oppose him.

McConnell concurred in a brief interview before the announcement.

"He can do what he wants to, but we're certainly going to oppose him in every way," the Kentucky Republican said.

President Donald Trump tweeted last month that Moore "cannot win" and said Republicans need to retake the seat in the once reliably red state.

"Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama," Trump wrote in a tweet.

Asked whether Trump would support or oppose Moore, Erin Perrine, a spokeswoman for the president's reelection campaign, said, "I refer you to the president's previous tweets on the matter."

A spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund, a political committee close to McConnell, cast Moore as an albatross for the GOP.

"We believe most Alabama Republicans realize that nominating Roy Moore would be gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer," fund spokesman Jack Pandol said, referring to the Senate's Democratic leader. "It remains to be seen whether Moore can escape his baggage without his candidacy collapsing under its own weight, regardless of what groups on the outside do."

The fund spent $6.9 million in the 2017 Republican primary unsuccessfully trying to help Sen. Luther Strange, appointed to the seat several months earlier, defeat Moore and win the nomination.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Stewart Boss said national Republicans who supported Moore's 2017 campaign "have nobody to blame but themselves for the chaotic primary that's escalating in Alabama."

During the 2017 race, six women accused Moore of pursuing romantic or sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers as young as 14 and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Two accused him of assault or molestation.

Moore denied the accusations and has said he considered his 2017 defeat, when he lost to Jones by 22,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast, "a fraud."

A crowded GOP primary field is competing to challenge Jones. U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and legislator Arnold Mooney, and businessman Stanley Adair have already announced bids.

Moore retains a strong following among some evangelical voters in the state. He was twice elected as the state's chief justice but was twice stripped of those duties after a judicial ethics panel said he defied, or urged defiance of, federal court orders regarding same-sex marriage and the public display of the Ten Commandments.

"I'm a hundred percent behind Judge Moore," said Tim Sprayberry of Cleburne County, a supporter who attended the event. "He's honest. He's loyal to his friends."

"Judge Moore is one of the few candidates that I have ever seen that will tell you he is going to do something, and he does it regardless of what the consequences to him personally or his political career."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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