Roy Moore’s imploding candidacy has Republicans panicking for any alternative, including putting Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his old senate seat.
“The name being most often discussed may not be available, but the Alabamian who would fit that standard would be the attorney general,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said recently at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO council. “He’s totally well-known and is extremely popular in Alabama.”
Moore was accused by four different women last week of making sexual advances towards them when he was in his 30s and they were in their mid to late teens, including a woman who was just a 14-year-old girl at the time. Another woman came forward on Monday and said Moore sexually harassed her in his car when she was 16 years old. When he was District Attorney of Etowah County, Moore was reportedly banned from a local mall for preying on high school girls.
Sen. McConnell has since said he believes the women accusing the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice of sexual assault, and has called on Roy Moore to end his campaign. However, because the December 12 election is so close, Alabama Republicans are unable to actually remove his name from the ballot, meaning Sessions or another challenger would have to run as a write-in candidate.
“I’d like to save the seat, and it’s a heck of dilemma when you’ve got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing the label of your party within a month of the election,” he added. “It’s a very tough situation.”
Jeff Sessions was tapped by President Trump early in 2017 to head the Department of Justice, prompting Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the seat until a special election could be held for his replacement. While Trump and the Republican establishment backed Strange, he lost Alabama’s Republican primary to Moore.
According to the Washington Examiner, Sessions has said he has “no interest” in going back to the U.S. Senate.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.