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GOP chair warns Republican office-holders against supporting write-in candidates

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Republican Party

Sunday, Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan told the Alabama Political Reporter that she has not even heard of any GOP elected official or candidate that is even considering running as a write-in candidate against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, and Lathan warned GOP officials and candidates not to endorse Doug Jones or a write-in campaign.

“It would be a serious error for any current elected GOP official or candidate to publicly endorse another party’s candidate, an independent, a third party or a write in candidate in a general election as well,” Lathan said. “I have heard of no GOP elected official or candidate that is even considering this option.”

Lathan added, “Here is the Party rule on denying ballot access:”

“Denying Ballot Access: This Committee reserves the right to deny ballot access to a candidate for public office if in a prior election that person was a Republican office holder and either publicly participated in the primary election of another political party or publicly supported a nominee of another political party. The provisions of this Rule shall apply for a period of six years after such person so participated. (This rule does not include all of the reasons for denying ballot access.)”

After the Washington Post released a report making the allegation that Moore undressed a 14-year-old girl on a “date” in 1979, a number of Republican U.S. senators called on Moore to stand aside in the election if there is truth in the allegation.

“I’m horrified and if this is true he needs to step down immediately,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said.

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She also said she has spoken to Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., about becoming a write-in candidate, ultimately challenging Moore in the December election.

On Sunday, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said that Republicans should consider running Strange as a write-in candidate against Moore.

Republican voters soundly rejected Luther Strange in the Republican primary runoff on September 26. Many voters in the state believe that Strange, then Alabama attorney general, cut a deal with then Gov. Robert Bentley in order to get the Republican nomination. Bentley resigned in April rather than be impeached.

Strange has not officially ruled out a write-in bid.

Conservative columnist, Quinn Hillyer, on Friday, suggested that the party should write in Lathan. Lathan’s comments to APR appeared to rule out that possibility.

Bentley’s replacement, Gov. Kay Ivey, said on Sunday that she will not move the special election. It will remain on December 12.

There are already two announced write-in candidates: Mac Watson and Ron Bishop, who has support from the Alabama Libertarian Party.

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Alabama Libertarian Party Chairman Leigh Lachine wrote in a statement,“We believe that our candidate, Ron Bishop, would better represent the values of the people of Alabama. Ron and the Libertarian Party of Alabama are the true voices of limited government.”

Many political observers believe that former Clinton era U.S. Attorney Doug Jones (is too liberal to get elected by the people of Alabama. His positions on transgenders in the military, late term abortion, Obamacare and other issues put him well outside the mainstream of Alabama political thought, where Donald Trump won 63 percent of the vote.

Lathan said that she will release a statement on the Senate race soon.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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