By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, Republican Senate candidates Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., debated a number of issues in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate in Montgomery. Afterwards, supporters of both campaigns declared victory.
Former state Rep. Perry Hooper Jr., who is also chair of Trump’s Victory Committee in Alabama, endorsed Strange.
“The Debate tonight proved one important fact: Senator Luther Strange is s better fit to serve as Alabama’s Junior US Senator,” Hooper said. “Senator Strange was spot on discussing important issues. He was very knowledgeable, confident and looked Senatorial. Chief Justice Moore seemed confused at times and he had a hard time pronouncing words. The best line of the night was when Moore told the audience that God was in charge of his election, Strange replied by saying in all due respect, God is in charge of the election for both Moore and Luther, but one thing is for Sure President Trump is for Me. That was the best line of the night!”
Trump’s Alabama Campaign Co-Chair State Representative Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, endorsed Moore.
“I believe Roy Moore won the debate,” Henry said. “He was able to point out most of the lies that Luther Strange has been able to spread with Mitch McConnell’s help. Roy Moore also pointed out the hypocrisy of the Strange campaign by informing the public that Luther made over $6,000,000.00 over a 10yr period as a lobbyist. Then to close out he proved that he was a man of substance who is willing to fight for the people of Alabama. The debate allowed us to see the difference between Moore and Strange. Moore is a man of principle and character while Strange is a man more concerned about his friends in DC, at least those were the only people he discussed.”
“Judge Moore’s performance was universally praised by both national and state onlookers, and Strange seemed to be having difficulty in answering any of Moore’s questions about his ability to lead,” the Moore campaign said in a statement.
Moore was twice elected as Alabama’s Supreme Court chief justice, but he was removed once and suspended for the remainder of his term once. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed ethics complaints against Moore both times. First, for placing a Ten Commandments display in the lobby of the building of the Supreme Court, the second time for failing to order the probate judges to issue state marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Obergefell V. Hodges ruling. Moore spent over a decade as a judge; he has also headed a foundation that defends religious liberties, been a prosecutor, a private practice attorney, a rancher, a cowboy, a kickboxer and served as an officer in the U.S. army, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Moore is an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy at Westpoint. He graduated from law school at the University of Alabama. He is from Gallant, Alabama. He twice ran for the Republican nomination for governor unsuccessfully in 2010 and 2006.
Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this year by then Gov. Robert Bentley. In 2010, he was elected Alabama attorney general. He was re-elected in 2014. Strange spent 23 years as a professional lobbyist operating mostly out of Washington. Strange is an alumnus of Tulane, which he attended on a basketball scholarship. Strange also has a law degree from Tulane. He is from Homewood, Alabama. In 2006, he ran for lieutenant governor unsuccessfully, losing in the general election to former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr.
The Republican runoff is on Tuesday.
The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
The winner will face Clinton-era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the special general election on Dec. 12.