Roy Moore defeated Senator Luther Strange in the Republican Primary for the Alabama Senate Seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became Attorney General. With all precincts reporting, Moore received 54.6% of the vote to Strange’s 46.4%, a differential of over 44,000 votes. Moore won 63 of the state’s 67 counties.
Moore, former the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, won after and tense a brutal six-week campaign leading up to Tuesday’s runoff. Former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed Strange to fill the open seat until a special election could be held. Bentley scheduled the election for 2018, but after he resigned, new Governor Kay Ivey changed the election to this year.
The election took on national importance as the Republican Party struggles to define itself after President Trump's election last year. The President campaigned for Strange in Huntsville Friday night and Vice President Pence visited Birmingham to make a last-ditch push for him Monday. The Senate Leadership Fund and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were solidly behind Strange,
Moore enjoyed popular support because of the stands he took in the past against what many conservative Alabamians see as the federal government’s attempts to curtail religious expression. He came to prominence in the late 1990’s as a Circuit Court Judge who refused to remove a plaque of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. Following his election as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he installed a large Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda. He resisted a court order to move the monument and was subsequently removed from office. Alabamians reelected him to the position and during his term, he defied the Supreme Court decision which legalized same-sex marriage by issuing an order to Probate Judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended him without pay for the remainder of his term.
In the campaign’s waning days, James Dobson and Franklin Graham spoke out in support of Moore. Graham issued a statement in support on his Facebook page and Dobson filmed a video commending Moore, which was used as an ad on Facebook. Former White House Strategist and Breitbart editor Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson appeared at a rally for Moore in Baldwin County Monday night.
In a speech to supporters Tuesday night, Moore reiterated his support for President Trump. “Together, we can make America great. Don’t let anybody in the press think that because he supported my opponent that I do not support him.”
Moore will face former US attorney Doug Jones in the general election on December 12th.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Roy Moore
Publication date: September 27, 2017