Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Dothan area businessman Jeff Coleman are both running in the Republican primary runoff on July 14. Last week, Jeff Coleman’s campaign manager Dalton Dismukes attacked Barry Moore for accepting money and support from the Club for Growth, a conservative super PAC that opposed Donald J. Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries
Dismukes accused Moore of “old swamp tactics” and derided the Club for Growth as being “The original never-Trump, anti-farmer” group. On Friday the Moore campaign responded to the negative attacks.
Jonathan Barbee, General Consultant and Media Director for the Moore Campaign, said in a statement:
“It’s sad that Mr. Dismukes has already resorted to mudslinging against Barry Moore, but it’s the only thing he can do at this point,” Barbee said. “They’ve already spent $2 million trying to buy a Congressional seat. The people in District 2 know Barry Moore. They know he’s a man of integrity, character, and courage. They know he was the first elected official in the nation to endorse Candidate Donald J. Trump for President in 2015. They know Barry’s always supported farmers and agribusiness across District 2; he even grew up on a farm and has a degree in agriculture. They know Barry chose to limit himself to eight years in the Alabama House rather than seek re-election because he believes in term limits. They know Barry Moore was “the most dependable conservative vote in the Alabama Legislature” while he was there. They know he started and built his business from the ground up. They know he’s a Veteran, and hasn’t just put on a flight uniform for a photo op.”
“Barry Moore has been endorsed by the Club for Growth, Eagle Forum, the American Workers Coalition, the Conservative Christians of Alabama, and the House Freedom Fund,” Barbee continued. “The House Freedom Fund is the political action group of the House Freedom Caucus, the group of conservative legislators that have been President Trump’s ‘go-to’ group for support in the House. The Freedom Caucus has been called the ‘President’s Men’ because of their support, and two of their members have contributed to Barry’s campaign. To try to use these endorsements to tar Barry Moore as a ‘Never Trumper’ isn’t just wrong, it’s silly, especially since the Club for Growth has also endorsed Donald Trump for the 2020 election.”
Coleman has been endorsed by both the Business Council of Alabama, whom Coleman once chaired and the Alabama Farmers Federation.
“Mr. Coleman’s business largely makes its money from government contracts,” Barbee charged. “He’s never served in the military. His company agreed to a settlement in 2015 of $5 million in a fraud case against the Department of Defense, where the Department of Justice had estimated the total fraud at over $700 million. Coleman has insisted that his company did “nothing wrong”, despite agreeing to the settlement, and one of the company’s managers going to prison. He tried to blame Obama, but good investigative reporting by AL.com and the Alabama Political Reporter showed that the fraud and corruption were all on Coleman’s company.”
“Mr. Coleman is a millionaire who has outspent Barry Moore by more than 10 to 1,” Barbee added. “Coleman has written himself some big checks, which is fine, but he’s also received contributions from a number of out of state groups and Alabama corporate Big Mules. Barry Moore is the best conservative choice to represent District 2 in Congress. Many conservative, free-market, small-government groups across Alabama and nationally know this. They’ve taken a look at the candidates, and have chosen to help elect the candidate that will stand for these things, not fraud and corruption.”
“Mr. Coleman has tried to buy this Congressional seat, instead of using a grassroots campaign as Barry Moore has,” Barbee concluded. “Barry Moore is running on his record as a conservative, a Christian, a small businessman, a Veteran, and a proud Trump supporter. Mr. Coleman’s only record is littered with fraud, corruption, and swamp connections in D.C. His campaign is distorting the truth because they’re trying to hide Coleman’s swamp connections. If anybody in this race is using swamp tactics, it’s the Coleman campaign.”
The winner of the July 14 Republican runoff will face Democratic nominee Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the November 3 general election for the open congressional seat. Republican incumbent Martha Roby is retiring from Congress when her term concludes.