By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is wading back into the political waters — this time to support an anti-feminist candidate in Missouri’s Senate election who has called women’s rights advocates “career-obsessed banshees” and “she-devils.”
On Monday, Moore endorsed right-wing Republican Senate candidate Courtland Sykes, a populist newcomer to politics who is running against several other Republicans in the hopes of unseating Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Moore, just on the heels of several accusations of sexual misconduct and losing a bruising special Senate election against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, said Monday in one of his first major political moves since the election that he was proud to support Sykes, a Navy veteran and former congressional aide.
“Courtland is a man of impeccable character, courage and Christian faith,” Moore said in a letter addressed to “the people of the great state of Missouri.”
“We need men like Courtland Sykes in the Senate of the United States, a leader who will not only say what is right, but also a leader who will do what is right,” Moore wrote.
I am deeply honored to announce today, that Judge Roy Moore of Alabama, unequivocally endorsed my candidacy for the Missouri U.S. Senate. No man in public life today has shown greater courage in standing up again and again for our conservative causes than Judge Moore. #MOSEN pic.twitter.com/5In40OOGxa
— Courtland Sykes (@SykesforSenate) February 26, 2018
Sykes — who has aligned himself with President Donald Trump’s populist “America First” and Make America Great Again platform — has drawn fire for obstinate Facebook posts that seem to relegate women to the role of a homemaker.
“I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives — think Norman Rockwell here and Gloria Steinem be damned,” Sykes said in a January Facebook post.
Sykes is running against a contested GOP field including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, air force veteran and retired bomber pilot Tony Monetti, and former Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Peterson. Hawley has been considered a front-runner in the race, which Republicans hope will be a prime opportunity to unseat McCaskill in an election Republicans have identified as key to potentially expanding their slim Senate majority.
Despite Sykes’ campaign videos linking himself with Trump and toting many of the president’s famous campaign lines, Trump endorsed Hawley instead.
The GOP is hoping to avoid a repeat of a 2012 Missouri Senate election when Missouri Rep. Todd Akin won a contested Republican primary before going on to implode his own campaign by claiming that “legitimate rape” almost never leads to pregnancy.
Missouri, a state that went for Trump by 20 percentage points in 2016, voted for McCaskill by a 16-percentage point margin.
But Sykes is taking up airtime with his controversial comments, including those he posted to Facebook after being questioned on whether he favors women’s rights. Sykes blasted “mean-spirited radical feminists” whom he says are working to define womanhood and women’s rights for him and his family.
“I want daughters to have their own intelligence, their own dignity, their own workspace and their own degrees,” Sykes said in the Facebook post from January. “I want them to build home based enterprises and live in homes shared with good husbands and I don’t want them [sic] grow up into career obsessed banshees who forego home life and children and the happiness of family to become nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she devils who shriek from the tops of a thousand tall buildings they are [sic] think they could have leaped over in a single bound—had men not ‘suppressing them.’ [sic] It’s just nuts. It always was.”
Moore hadn’t completely disappeared from the political realm before endorsing Sykes Monday. The conservative firebrand and former Republican jurist has yet to concede the election against Jones, claiming results were swayed by voter fraud and Washington intrusion. In emails sent from his campaign as recently as Feb. 18, Moore is still seeking donations to his “legal defense fund.”
“The forces of evil believe you and I have already given up the fight and surrendered,” the email signed by Moore reads.
In the weeks leading up to the election in December, Sykes traveled to Alabama, joining with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and others to rally for Moore at a Dec. 11 election eve rally. His support for Moore came after Moore was accused of sexually assaulting three women and pursuing other teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
In another post Monday, Sykes said the same “election thieves” who went against Moore would be coming to “steal any election and to destroy any conservative person or value.”
“Now they think they have a formula to destroy conservatism for 2018 and beyond—the fake accusation plan—they will use hired ‘victims’—women who take money, paid in cash or in fame to star in last-minute ‘pop-up stories’ written too late to defend,” he wrote. “No matter the stories are invented. No matter the women are paid.”
Despite some rumblings that Moore might pursue a gubernatorial bid, the former judge, who is now 70, did not qualify for the Republican primary for governor. He could still run as an independent if he garnered enough signatures.