Alabama Senator Roy Moore (R) has been embroiled in a serious sexual assault scandal that seems to have the people of Alabama divided. Moore has now been accused by five women of sexual misconduct, who say he assaulted them when they were in their teens and he was in his 30’s. The latest woman came forward to say Moore assaulted her when she was 16 years-old.
Many people, including both Democrats and Republicans, have called for Senator Moore’s resignation, and say he should not run again, although he still has many GOP supporters. The president himself continues to boost Moore’s Senate bid. Now, it appears that an unlikely challenger has entered this Senate race, throwing a wrench into Moore’s plans.
According to The Washington Post:
‘A retired Marine colonel who once served as a top aide to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly plans to launch a long-shot write-in campaign Monday afternoon to become Alabama’s next senator, with just 15 days left in the campaign.’
The retired colonel is 60 year-old Lee Busby of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Busby, a centrist candidate, feels that the allegations against Moore are likely to help him to win more than one-third of the state’s votes in the December 12 special election. Busby said:
‘I think you can flip this thing. If this were a military operation, the left flank and the right flank are heavily guarded. I think that gives you an opportunity to run straight up the middle.’
The Washington Post reports:
‘Busby, who was lacking any formal campaign structure or even a working website as of Monday morning, said he is counting on social media to spread the word about his campaign.
‘He said he plans to run as an independent on his record as an investment banker, military leader and defense contractor and entrepreneur. He spent the weekend working on a logo and said he is just starting to explore the legal requirements for raising money for a campaign.’
Busby retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 and is also a sculpture artist. His most recent project, sculpting U.S. military veterans from the Iraq and Afghan wars, was featured in Southern Living. About the other Senate candidates, Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, Busby said:
‘I just don’t believe that either one of them are qualified to be in the U.S. Senate.’
Regarding Moore’s allegations, Senate candidate Busby stated:
‘It has created enough distaste in my mind. As a voter, I don’t need to get to the bottom of it.’
Republican leaders in Alabama decided to not to run a write-again campaign against Moore because of the fear that it would split the Republican vote. Busby’s hope is that he will attract supporters from Jones’ camp as well as Moore’s.
Busby went on to say:
‘The people of Alabama are not going to be represented by someone who supports a liberal abortion policy. I’m extremely concerned about the Democratic Party in Alabama. I don’t think they reflect Alabama’s views.’
Recent polls show that the race has tightened since the Roy Moore scandal broke. On Nov. 21, a survey found that about three percent of Alabama voters planned to write in a candidate on election day. Alabama law supports write-in candidates as long as they are living and eligible to run.
Busby voted for John Kasich in the 2016 primary election and considers himself to be a pro-life candidate. He also served as vice chief of staff to John Kelly when he was a three-star lieutenant general commanding the Marine Forces Reserve.
Busby hasn’t let Kelly know about his plans to run in the Senate election, but says he will contact him if his campaign gains traction.
Here were some Twitter reactions to Busby’s announcement:
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