Roy Moore, Luther Strange Advance GOP Runoff in Alabama Senate Race

Former Chief Justice Roy S. Moore and Senator Luther Strange emerged from a crowded Republican field on Tuesday in a special Senate primary in Alabama. They will face off for their party’s nomination next month in a runoff election, a race that will test President Trump’s influence in a deeply conservative state, the New York Times reports.

Strange, 64, backed by Trump and millions of dollars in spending by outside groups and Moore, 70, a favorite of evangelical voters, have not managed to receive more than 50 percent of the vote in a race that evolved into seeing who could embrace Trump more when the leading contenders were closely aligned on policy.

But Moore significantly outpolled Strange, taking 39.6 percent of the vote to the senator’s 32.1 percent, with 91 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:35 p.m. Eastern time. Representative Mo Brooks, who is a hard-line conservative, finished third with 19.8 percent of the vote.

After it became clear that he and Strange would advance, Moore took to the stage and predicted a wave of “the most negative campaign ads in the history of Alabama,” and he leveled sharp attacks against Republican leaders. He said that Tuesday’s results showed that “the attempt by the silk-stockinged Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed.”

Taking the stage Moore also appealed to the religious enthusiasm that has been central to his political appeal.

“Without God, we will never return to the greatness we were meant to have,” Moore told his supporters in Montgomery. “We must be good again before we can be great.”

Strange, who was appointed this year to replace the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appeared to pick up some momentum from Trump’s support. He now faces a six-week sprint in which his prospects will be determined in large part by how many more voters Trump can bring to him.

Appearing in this affluent Birmingham suburb, Strange said he was eager to compete “one on one” as he recalled his college basketball career. And he offered a preview of his message for the runoff by repeatedly highlighting Trump’s support and borrowing his slogan.

“What it all boils down to is: Who’s best suited to stand with the people of this country, with our president, and make sure we make America great again?”

Trump is expected to campaign in the state for Strange, and outside Republican groups are already preparing to attack the lightly funded Moore with a negative ad campaign. Alabama Democrats — who tapped Doug Jones, 63, a former United States attorney in Birmingham, as their nominee on Tuesday — will be watching the Republican race closely and they may get national help if Moore advance the Republican standard-bearer.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.