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Roy Moore announces second run for U.S. Senate

Jessa Reid Bolling

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Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Thursday announced his decision to run for U.S. Senate again in 2020 after falling short in an election for the same seat against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones just two years ago.

“Can I win?” Moore said. “Yes, I can. Not only can I, they know I can.”  

Moore’s controversial 2017 campaign for Senate was marred with allegations of sexual misconduct, which he again denied at his press conference Thursday, calling them “false claims.”

In 2017, Moore won the Republican nomination but narrowly lost the special election by about 21,000 votes or 1.5 percentage points to fill the seat that had previously belonged to Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who had just stepped down to become President Donald Trump’s first attorney general.

At his press conference Thursday, Moore said he believes he won the 2017 election but that his victory was stolen by “false tactics used by Democratic operatives in Washington D.C.” He also blamed some Washington and establishment Republicans for his loss.

Moore’s decision to run goes against Trump’s comments last month when he urged Moore not to run again. Trump initially endorsed Luther Strange for the Republican candidate in 2017 in the primary election, but Trump later endorsed Moore just days before the special election.

In a tweet last month, Trump said that “Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating.” Moore denied that he was acting against the president’s wishes on Thursday, saying he believes the president is being pressured by the Senate Republican campaign arm.

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Moore called the 2017 race “fraudulent,” saying it left Alabama voters “angry” and that Alabama voters are ready to act on that anger.

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Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science. You can email her at [email protected] or reach her via Twitter.

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