BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The bitter Senate race in deeply conservative Alabama went to the voters Tuesday as they chose between an embattled but well-known Republican accused of child molestation and a Democrat who hopes to break the GOP’s lock on the state and uphold “decency.”
Republican candidate Roy Moore, 70, rode his horse to the polls as he’s done in past elections to cast his ballot.
Moore was accompanied by his wife Kayla Moore, also on horseback, as he voted at a rural fire station in the northeast Alabama community of Gallant on Tuesday.
Dozens of members of the media surrounded the couple, making it difficult for them to get through on their horses. Moore spoke briefly to reporters, talking in generalities and not discussing allegations that he sexually molested teenage girls decades ago. He expressed confidence that he will win, and said that after the election will be the time to discuss whether he’s allowed to take a seat in the Senate.
Before the allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, Moore was well known for being ousted twice as state Supreme Court chief justice after flouting federal law.
His opponent, 63-year-old Democrat Doug Jones,is best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen who killed four black girls in a 1963 church bombing. He’s being backed by former President Barack Obama.
The winner will take the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 Senate majority. A routine election in Republican-dominated Alabama would not normally be expected to alter that balance because Alabamians have not sent a Democrat to the upper chamber of Congress since 1992.
President Donald Trump notched a 28-point win in Alabama in 2016 and remains popular in the state. He has endorsed Moore in the race.
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