Moore, a Republican, lost the seat to Democrat Doug Jones in a 2017 special election. But he said the sexual misconduct allegations brought against him in 2017 had “very little” to do with him losing the race, and he’s giving it another shot.
“I believe in America. I believe we need politicians that will go to Washington and do what they say,” Moore stated before making his bid official.
The candidate has a long political history in the state of Alabama. Moore served as a circuit judge, then served terms on the Alabama Supreme Court before being removed and suspended. He resigned from the state Supreme Court in 2016.
In his announcement, Moore asked the media why there’s such a “fear” of him running. He then asked, “is it because I’m a strong conservative?”
Moore explained that he thinks there’s never been such an outcry of people wanting and not wanting him to run for the seat.
Despite winning a Senate seat held for decades by Republicans, Jones’ seat is considered by some to be one of the nation’s most endangered for Democrats in a state that is deeply red. Even President Trump, among other Republicans, has urged the former judge not to mount another run, fearing it would end with another win and a full-term for Jones.
Sen. Jones and his campaign tweeted a response to Moore’s announcement about an hour afterward saying:
So it looks like my opponent will either be extremist Roy Moore or an extremist handpicked by Mitch McConnell to be part of his legislative graveyard team. Let’s get to work so we can get things done! https://t.co/S1Z2t1z0sZ
— Doug Jones (@DougJones) June 20, 2019
That response came shortly after the Senate Leadership Fund reacted. The SLF’s Communications Director, Jack Pandol, panned Moore’s decision saying,
“We believe most Alabama Republicans realize that nominating Roy Moore would be gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer. 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.”
Moore said he hadn’t made his final decision to run until the day of his announcement, adding that he’d thought and prayed about it first.
With his confirmation of a run, Moore will join other Republican candidates including former Auburn football coach Tommy Tubberville and U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has filed paperwork but has not confirmed a run at this point.