Roy Moore, a former Alabama State Supreme Court justice who ran for U.S. Senator in a 2017 special election but lost to Democrat Sen. Doug Jones, plans to run again for the seat in the upcoming 2020 election.
Moore seemed like a shoo-in for winning the race when he won the Republican Party’s nomination during the special election year. But after allegations of child molestation from his past surfaced, detailing how he inappropriately courted and touched teen girls when he was in his early 30s, Moore ended up losing, narrowly, to Jones.
The Republican candidate is hedging his bets that he can convince voters to support him this time around by focusing on conservative morality. In a speech he gave late last month, Moore touted a return to a “moral basis” seen 50 to 60 years ago — including rescinding newfound recognitions for members of the LGBTQ community.
“We have got to go back to what we did back in the 60s and 70s, back to a moral basis,” Moore said, per reporting from Out.com. “We did not have same-sex marriage. We did not have transgender rights. Sodomy was illegal.”
In that same speech, Moore appeared to criticize a Drag Queen Story Hour that happened at a library in Mobile, Alabama, in 2018. People in drag “taught kids, and they dress[ed] them up in drag,” Moore complained.
Out.com reported that those library events happened, but children weren’t forced to attend, and there’s no record that drag queens forced anyone to dress up.
According to FCC online records, Moore has not yet purchased ad time on Alabama television stations to air campaign commercials.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) December 2, 2019
A recent digital ad released on Sunday by Moore’s campaign touches on marriage equality (and his opposition to the concept) as well as a number of other conservative talking points. The candidate attacked “Washington insiders” for not liking conservatives in the state for their support or defense on a number of other issues, AL.com reported.
“The same Washington insiders who don’t like President [Donald] Trump are trying to stop our campaign,” Moore says in the ad. “They just don’t like conservatives like us. They call us warmongers for wanting to rebuild the military, racists for securing our borders, bigots for recognizing the sanctity of marriage. And they call us foolish for believing in God.”
Moore isn’t the only candidate who has declared a run for the 2020 Senate election, and rumors abound that other big names may enter as well. Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who originally vacated the seat that Jones now has in order to join the Trump administration in 2017, may throw his hat into the ring as well.
It’s unclear who might be the frontrunner in the GOP primaries if both Moore and Sessions run, as both are trying to tout themselves as the more “Trump-like” candidate to appeal to conservative voters in Alabama. The primary is slated to take place in March next year.