Roy Moore, the controversial right-wing judge who lost in an upset to Democrat Doug Jones in the 2017 Alabama Senate election, will announce on Thursday whether he plans on running again.
"Judge has spoken with most all of you on the phone over the past few weeks and is appreciative of your warm support. We will be making an official announcement regarding the [Senate] race in Montgomery this Thursday" wrote Kayla Moore, the judge's wife, according to a note obtained by Politico.
Although Republican candidates are generally favored in statewide Alabama elections, Jones broke that trend to became the first Democratic senator to represent the Yellowhammer State in 25 years. In the run up to Election Day, numerous accusations of sexual misconduct were raised against Moore, including with teenage girls.
It also is not guaranteed that Moore would win his party's nomination if he throws his hat into the ring again, as a number of other Republicans have said they would also like to run. Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Bradley Byrne and state Rep. Arnold Mooney have all declared their candidacies, while state Secretary of State John Merrill has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Committee.
Because Republicans are concerned that Moore could repeat his loss to Jones, there has been widespread opposition to the idea of his candidacy among the party establishment, including from both President Donald Trump and his eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.
In a pair of tweets sent last month, Trump wrote that "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....."
He added, "...If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating....Judges and Supreme Court Justices!"
Don Jr. expressed similar thoughts when he tweeted, "You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA. Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge."
Moore, for his part, has insisted that the numerous sexual misconduct accusations against him were unequivocally false and motivated by politics. In February, he sent an email to supporters saying, "Even Doug Jones knows that 'Project Birmingham' and the disinformation campaign out of Washington, D.C. paid for by Microsoft Billionaire Reid Hoffman was all for his benefit. His call for an investigation by the Federal Election Commission was to cover his own fraudulent campaign. When and if I decide to run, he will be the first to know."
The former judge is particularly well-known for his opposition to LGBTQ rights, arguing that homosexuality should be outlawed and that gay couples should not be allowed to raise children. He has also described Islam as a "false religion" and promoted discredited racist conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama.