UNOFFICIAL RESULTS REPORTED TUESDAY NIGHT
by Sharon Rondeau
As of Wednesday morning, the Alabama Secretary of State’s website is reporting unofficial results as Moore having garnered 38.9% of the Republican vote, with Strange receiving 32.76%. Those numbers are subject to certification by Alabama’s probate judges, who act as election certifiers.
U.S. Rep. Mel Brooks received 20% of Republican votes.
Moore and Luther Strange, who was appointed by then-Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to temporarily fill the seat after Sessions became attorney general, will participate in a runoff election on September 26 to determine the Republican candidate.
Trump had endorsed Strange, who was Alabama Attorney General in the Bentley administration.
Having been elected to a second term, Bentley resigned in April after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors associated with an affair and other alleged misconduct. Bentley originally claimed he did nothing wrong and denied the alleged relationship with a political staffer.
Following the scandal, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey became governor and promised a special election in accordance with state law, according to CNN, which Bentley had decided to forego to avoid the expense. In most states, an appointed U.S. senator serves out the remainder of the term of the individual he replaced, while vacant seats for U.S. representatives are filled by means of special elections.
Moore, an evangelical Christian, was twice voted in and twice removed as Alabama’s chief supreme court justice. In 2003, he was removed from the bench after he refused to relocate a Ten Commandments monument from inside his courthouse in response to a federal judge’s order.
Moore has previously run unsuccessfully for Alabama governor in 2006 and 2010. In 2012, he ran once again for state Supreme Court justice and won. Last year, he was removed from the post for the second time after issuing guidance to lower-court judges that they did not have to follow the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges signifying that homosexual marriage must be recognized in all states.
While Moore’s second removal was technically termed a “suspension” by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, he resigned in April to seek the U.S. Senate seat.
In the Democrat race, former U.S. Attorney Douglas Jones easily won more than 50% of the vote out of a group of eight candidates and will face the Republican winner on December 12. The Alabama Secretary of State is reporting on Wednesday that Jones garnered close to 66% of the Democrat vote.
According to Roll Call, Alabama’s other U.S. senator, Richard Shelby, was the last Democrat to be elected from the state, although he switched parties two years into his term.
The Alabama Secretary of State’s website reported unofficial figures on Tuesday evening but clarified that “The accuracy of the election results is the responsibility of the Probate Judge for each county reporting.”
More is a 1969 graduate of the military academy at West Point and a Vietnam War veteran, reaching the rank of captain upon discharge. He continues to be referred to in many circles as the “Ten Commandments judge.”
In early June, Moore’s newly-minted campaign manager, former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said:
Judge Moore has stood up for conservative values his whole career, often in the face of so-called, bi-partisan adversaries, and this campaign will be no different. The Washington establishment has made it clear that they want to hand-pick the next Senator from Alabama, but I have every confidence that voters in Alabama will stand with Judge Roy Moore on August 15th and send a proven fighter and tested outsider to Washington to shake up the status quo and support President Donald Trump in draining the swamp.