Roy Moore said Thursday that he will run for the U.S. Senate in Alabama after President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans urged the former Alabama Supreme Court justice to stay out of the race.
“Yes, I will run for the United States Senate in 2020,” Moore, who faced multiple sexual misconduct accusations during his 2017 bid, told reporters in Montgomery, adding that the results of his previous campaign were “fraudulent.” Moore cited Alabama voters being “angry” and “tired” of “dirty politics” as his reason for running yet again.
“I believe in America. I believe we’ve got to have politicians that go to Washington and do what they say,” he added.
With his return to the political stage, Moore faces a crowded Republican primary field as he aims for an eventual rematch against Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), who bested him in the 2017 special election to fill the seat previously held by Jeff Sessions.
“He can do what he wants to, but we’re certainly going to oppose him in every way,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said in a brief interview with the Associated Press before Moore’s announcement.
President Donald Trump tweeted last month that Moore “cannot win” and said Republicans need to retake the seat in the once reliably red state.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama,” the president wrote in a tweet.
“I have NOTHING against Roy Moore,” Trump wrote, but warned that “Roy Moore cannot win.”
During the last race, six women accused Moore of pursuing romantic or sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers as young as 14 and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Two accused him of assault or molestation.
A crowded Republican primary field is competing to challenge Jones. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and legislator Arnold Mooney have already announced bids.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.