Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore formally declared his candidacy for Senate on Thursday, launching his second bid for the state’s Republican nomination.
“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said at an event in Montgomery, Alabama. “Can I win? Yes, I can win.”
Democrats won control of Alabama’s junior U.S. Senate seat in 2017 after holding a special election to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who vacated the seat when he was elevated to head up the Department of Justice.
Doug Jones defeated Moore, who faced massive backlash after allegations arose that he had molested a teenager in the 1970s. Despite the controversy, Jones won the election by less than 2% of the vote.
Republican leaders, including President Donald Trump, urged Moore to sit this race out.
Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
“The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama,” Moore said in May. “People in Alabama are smarter than that. They elect the senator from Alabama, not from Washington, D.C.”
Jones is one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators in 2020 as Alabama typically votes Republican and is preparing for an uphill battle. (RELATED: Poll Shows Roy Moore With Big Lead In Alabama Senate Primary)
Moore joins an increasingly crowded Republican primary field, which includes former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, state Rep. Bradley Byrne and Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill.
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