It seems most of the Alabama GOP leaders are coming out in support of Roy Moore as the election draws near despite the allegations being levied against him… of which are being dismantled as we speak.
“I have stated both publicly and privately over the last month that unless these allegations were proven to be true I would continue to plan to vote for the Republican nominee, Judge Roy Moore,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill wrote in a text message to The Associated Press. “I have already cast my absentee ballot and I voted for Judge Moore.”
The accusations against Moore have left many GOP voters and leaders in a quandary. Voters face the decision of whether to vote for Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers decades ago when he was a county prosecutor, or sending Democrat Doug Jones to Washington, which would narrow the GOP’s already precarious majority in the Senate.
They also could write in a name on their ballots or simply stay home. Meanwhile, most GOP politicians in the state must run for re-election next year — where they will face Moore’s enthusiastic voting base at the polls.
In addition to Merrill, others who plan to vote for Moore include Gov. Kay Ivey; Attorney General Steve Marshall; state Auditor Jim Zeigler; Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan; state Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh; and Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, who previously led the state GOP. Also voting for Moore are current state party head Terry Lathan and U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Robert Aderholt of Haleyville.
The state’s most influential politician, Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, has said he wrote in a prominent Republican on his absentee ballot.
“I wrote in a distinguished Republican. I did not vote for Judge Moore, but I voted Republican,” Shelby said. His decision has played prominently in Jones ads pointing out Republicans who are not voting for their party’s nominee.
CNN reported last month that U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne said he will vote Republican and that he does not cast write-in votes. In a statement to the AP, Byrne said it is up to voters to decide.
“Some serious allegations have been made and Judge Moore has vehemently denied them. Frankly, I don’t think the people of Alabama want me, any national politician, or the national news media telling them what to think or how to vote,” Byrne said in the statement. “The decision is ultimately up to the people of Alabama to evaluate the information they have before them and make an informed decision. We must respect the voters’ decision.”