A retired marine with significant political clout is running as a write-in alternative to Roy Moore in Alabama’s special senate election.

Colonel Lee Busby — a former aide to former Marine general and current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — has officially declared his intentions to run in the December 12 special election. Busby frames himself as a centrist who is running “right up the middle” against both former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.

Busby told the Daily Beast that he felt Moore’s record as a judge was a glaring problem for Alabama voters even before the multiple allegations of pedophilia emerged.

“I don’t see anything within his experience as a judge that qualifies him for the job,” Col. Busby said.

Long before he was a senatorial candidate, Roy Moore was a religious crusader in the Alabama Supreme Court, having been removed from the bench for violating a federal district court ruling over a Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the Alabama Judicial Building. He was later elected to the court again, and then suspended following his refusal to honor the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Multiple sources told the New Yorker that in addition to being accused of sexually pursuing teenage girls while he was the District Attorney for Etowah County, Moore was banned from the Gadsden Mall after complaints from locals about predatory behavior. A retired Alabama police officer also said she was told to keep Moore away from the cheerleaders at high school football games due to his alleged preference for young girls. Moore’s campaign denies these allegations.

Doug Jones, in the meantime, is the U.S. Attorney who successfully prosecuted two KKK members that bombed a Birmingham church in 1963, killing four young black girls. However, Jones’ belief that women should have reproductive rights is unlikely to persuade Alabama Republicans from voting for him instead of Moore.

However, Busby — a marine for 31 years — is counting on social media exposure to get votes ahead of the December 12 election. As an investment banker, Busby is likely able to command significant financial resources that will put his campaign in front of more voters ahead of Election Day. If Busby gains enough momentum, he may swing enough Republicans away from Roy Moore and give Doug Jones a majority by default.

Recent polling averages from RealClearPolitics show Jones with a slight 0.8 percent advantage over Moore.


Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based freelancer specializing in national and state government issues. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.

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