By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter
AUBURN—After the latest hot-mic recordings and sexual assault allegations directed at the Republican presidential nominee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R) is still planning to vote for Donald Trump.
“I plan to vote for Donald Trump for president,” Rogers said in a statement on his campaign site. “I have pledged from the beginning to support the Republican presidential nominee even if it was not one of the candidates I initially preferred.”
He is up for reelection in the 3rd Congressional District, which spans from Lee County in the south to Cherokee County in the north and portions of Montgomery County in the west.
He is facing Democratic challenger Jesse Smith in the election.
“It’s very concerning,” Smith said. “Not the fact that he’s voting for Trump — people have their own choices, and people are going to vote for who they want. That’s the beauty of living in America. But the fact that he’s willing to continue to support him, that sets precedents.”
Other prominent Alabama Republicans including Alabama’s only female Republican congresswoman, Rep. Martha Roby, and Gov. Robert Bentley have said they won’t vote for Trump.
Rep. Bradley Bryne issued a statement last Saturday calling for Trump to step down on the ticket and allow Gov. Mike Pence to take the helm, but said this week he will still support the ticket.
Alabama GOP Chairwoman Terry Lathan and Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of Trump’s top political advisers, have said they are still voting for and supporting Trump for the presidency.
Rogers said Hillary Clinton is too dangerous to abandon Trump.
“The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton is the wrong choice for our nation,” Rogers continued. “A Supreme Court under Mrs. Clinton would be destructive to everything we hold dear in Alabama from protecting the rights of unborn children to our Second Amendment rights.
“Additionally, we must repeal and replace Obamacare and start to roll back some of the overly burdensome EPA and Dodd-Frank financial regulations that are destroying our economy. Only a Trump presidency can make these possible.”
In the recordings published by The Washington Post, Trump can be heard bragging to former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about groping and kissing women without their permission.
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said in the 2005 recording. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. … You can do anything.”
The New York Times published an article Thursday quoting two women who accuse Trump of sexually assaulting them. Since then, other articles in People magazine and the Palm Beach Post also cite women with similar accusations.
The Alabama Republican Primary election went overwhelmingly in Trump’s favor.
Trump beat his closest challenger, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), by more than 20 percentage points. Trump won the state with 43.4 percent of the vote. Cruz took 21 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took 19 percent.