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Moore attends private fundraiser with Auburn supporters amid campaign crisis

Embattled Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore gets a standing ovation from supporters as he arrives for his ethics trial at the Alabama Court of the Judiciary at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday September 28, 2016.

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore headlined an invite-only fundraising event at the home of an Auburn Republican while the Alabama GOP Steering Committee met in Hoover to discuss the future of his candidacy.

Moore spoke at a closed-door fundraiser at the home of Auburn Republicans Bill and Fran Dillard. When the fundraiser ended at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, the state party had not yet publicly announced any change in their support for Moore, though sources close to the Committee say it is unlikely they will pull their support.

The event came as Moore has faced a barrage accusations from several women alleging he sexually assaulted them. Other women accuse Moore of seeking out and dating young women who were in their teens and he was a 30-year-old upstart district attorney in Etowah County, where he would later become Circuit Court judge.

The impromptu fundraiser Tuesday night, organized by Moore’s Lee County committee chair Thomas Sparrow, gathered financial support for the embattled Senate candidate who has recently lost a high-profile fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee.

Several individuals who attended declined to comment when asked about the nature of the event. Moore and his wife Kayla drove past reporters gathered outside the entrance to the home without making a public appearance.

Sparrow in a last-minute email sent out to supporters said Moore had become a victim of “establishment Republicans” who failed to shut down his campaign even after spending upward of $30 million in support of Sen. Luther Strange in the primary.

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“I feel they are using our own morality against us trying to break our support for Roy since everything else they have tried has not worked,” Sparrow said. “Obviously, I know none of us would support a person that did anything harmful to anyone especially a woman or a child but I feel we all know Roy better than this and are smarter than to be head faked by these allegations.”

Sparrow went on to question the credibility of accusations recently levied against Moore, including at least 3 women who have accused him of sexual assault and several others who have alleged he commonly pursued teenage women — to a degree that made them uncomfortable.

The fundraiser started just hours after another chaotic day for Moore — two new women had come forward in an AL.com piece, and two others in a Washington Post piece about 30 minutes after the event ended. One woman in the AL.com article said more grabbed her buttocks after a meeting in his Gadsden, Alabama, law firm over the custody of her child.

The accumulating accusations against Moore have pushed GOP leaders in the Senate away from Moore, with many calling on Moore to step down. One, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, even said he would prefer the Democratic candidate Doug Jones over Moore.

The split between state and national leaders has not seemed to deter Moore, who has maintained he has done nothing wrong. He said he does not know most of the women and does not remember making sexual advances toward them.

He has called the allegations a “witch hunt,” conveniently orchestrated just weeks before he is set to face off against Jones in the December special election.

 

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Chip Brownlee
Written By

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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