Conservative Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, a bombastic evangelical Christian who was twice ousted as Alabama’s chief justice, has defeated Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican primary, despite Donald Trump’s support for Strange.
Trump, who never admits making a mistake, campaigned for Strange and predicted a blowout victory for his candidate. Well, it didn’t happen. This is another proof that Trump just can’t win and that his election as president was no more than a fluke with help from his Russian allies.
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon campaigned for Moore in Alabama on Monday and said that a vote for Moore is a vote for the nationalist agenda that got Trump elected.
Moore’s win Tuesday night will thrust his long history of homophobic and racially tinged remarks into the spotlight.
He has campaigned on a platform of placing Christianity at the center of public life. In 2003, Moore was removed as state Supreme Court chief justice for refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument. He was re-elected to the job, and then ousted again in 2016, when he refused to follow the US Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
Moore now faces Democratic nominee Doug Jones in a December general election in the race to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Though Alabama is a solidly red state, Democrats hope Jones, a former federal prosecutor who rose to prominence by leading the government’s case against two perpetrators of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, can make the race competitive. Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Alabama to campaign with Jones on October 3.
Just hours before polls closed in Alabama, Republican Sen. Bob Corker (TN), who would have faced a conservative challenger in a primary, announced that he will retire at the end of his Senate term, essentially saying, “no mas.”