Alabama Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh has a lot of concerns about the thumbprint Washington, DC has left on the race to fill Alabama’s U.S. Senate formerly held by Jeff Sessions.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Marsh, one of the Yellowhammer State’s highest-ranking Republicans, explained how he and other candidates were discouraged from running for the seat. He said that “Washington” was set on Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who was appointed to the open seat earlier this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL), being the GOP candidate and ultimately retaining that U.S. Senate seat.
“Washington had determined that Luther was their incumbent,” Marsh said. “I argued that the fact he was appointed by the governor — I did not think the people had voted. And I thought they would be wise to stay out of the race, let people run for the seat and see where it went.”
Marsh went to Washington, DC back in May to explore his options as a candidate. After that visit, he told the Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman that his conversation with the National Republican Senate Committee did not go well and they said they would “protect” their incumbents.
Marsh told Breitbart that he warned them against forcing Strange’s candidacy on Alabama voters and said things have gone as he had expected with their involvement in this contest.
“They were very honest,” Marsh explained. “They stated they would put whatever money they thought was necessary to make sure Luther won the race. I was very honest and told them I did not think the people of Alabama, regardless of the money they spent, would elect Luther Strange. They chose to go with what they believed instead of what I was trying to tell them.”
“And it played out pretty much exactly as I thought it would,” he continued. “Some people who may have gotten in the race such as myself were threatened with millions of dollars spent to attack them, and it wasn’t worth getting in the race. I think had they stayed out – I questioned quite honestly that Moore would be the nominee today.”
On the attacks Moore is facing now, Marsh said he thought in the end, this controversy would solidify Moore’s base and people would not vote for Moore’s opponent Doug Jones, who he described as a “liberal Democrat.”
“They attack Judge Moore from Washington, the establishment – all that is doing, in my opinion, is solidifying his base,” Marsh said. “And quite honestly, as things settle down, I think you’ll see people who perhaps were on the fence also gravitate to Judge Moore versus what they perceive as a liberal Democrat.”
Marsh said he did not foresee Roy Moore’s controversy. According to multiple reports, it has been alleged that Moore engaged in inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct in the late 1970s and early 1980s while serving as a prosecutor and a judge in Etowah County, AL.
The Alabama Senate president said there were questions about the timing of the allegations coming to light and that the question of a “Washington conspiracy” couldn’t be ignored.
“I’m not at all surprised about what we’re seeing,” he said. “Now what we didn’t expect was these allegations from several women about the inappropriate advances of Judge Moore. But what I’m hearing on the street on that – and I mean not from guys, but from women – the general statement that I hear from women that talk about is where were these women 40 years ago, or over the last 40 years? So, I think there are question marks as to is this part of a, I hate to say, Washington conspiracy, or is it the truth? And as long as there’s doubt, I believe people on Election Day who have doubt are going to probably go to support Judge Moore.”
On the Alabama Republican Party’s decision to stick with Moore, Marsh said he believed it made the right decision and that a write-in campaign would wind up electing Jones. He added that there should be a lesson learned about Washington’s involvement in local races, and that extended all the way up to President Donald Trump.
“I would hope a lesson would be learned,” he said. “You know, the people of Alabama – they don’t like others telling them what to do. People are smart enough to listen to all the facts and make an educated decision about the facts. I think the more Washington pushed – including President Trump – I mean, President Trump is really popular here in Alabama, but people do not like even the president telling them who to vote for. And that showed. It showed in the election in which Moore won the Republican primary. And I think if Washington keeps up with what it’s doing and if the press keeps up what it’s doing – that will do nothing but solidify Moore’s base and ultimately I think keeps Republicans voting Republican.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
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