ECLETIC RANT: Brief summary of Alabama’s special election

Ralph E. Stone
Friday November 17, 2017 - 02:55:00 PM

The Washington Post published a blockbuster investigative piece alleging that Roy Moore, the bigoted, right-wing extremist Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl while he was in his 30s and preyed on at least three other teenagers.

The age of consent in Alabama is sixteen.

Later, another woman came forward with her story of being assaulted by Moore.

Senate Republicans are escalating their demands for Moore to leave the race, including a growing faction calling for him to be expelled if he wins next month. Some have suggested that republicans write in Luther Strange, the person Moore defeated in the primary. 

Republicans are also floating the idea of postponing the special election until January. Without the delay, it would be too late to remove Moore from the ballot, because Alabama state law requires candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before an election. But military and other voters have already cast absentee ballots.  

Alabama Republican Kay Ivey is considering a delay, but wants to ensure President Trump’s support, because if Trump himself asked Moore to step down and endorsed a write-in candidate, few Republicans would challenge the new pick.  

Given his rocky relationship with Trump, others have suggested Jeff Sessions run if Moore drops out of the race. However, if indicted before the election, Sessions would make a Senate race difficult for him and the Republicans. 

Right now Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, is leading in the polls. But remember this deep south state hasn’t elected a Democratic senator in 25 years; anything can happen between now and the December 12 special election to replace Jeff Sessions. 

If Moore stays in the race and wins and subsequently is expelled, then presumably Governor Ivey -- who said she will vote for Moore despite the sexual allegations against him -- would appoint another Republican to replace Moore. 

Right now there are 46 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate. By adding Doug Jones, the Democrats would have 49 votes, which would make it that much more difficult for the GOP to pass legislation such as the so-called tax reform bill. 

Stay tuned.