Former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore, twice removed from his judicial duties, forced a Republican primary runoff Tuesday against U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, an incumbent endorsed by President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the NRA.
Despite millions of dollars in advertising by a super political action committee tied to McConnell, Strange was unable to defeat the firebrand jurist who took losing stands for the public display of the Ten Commandments and against gay marriage. From the Associated Press:
"This is a great victory. The attempt by the silk stocking Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed," Moore said at his victory party in downtown Montgomery, with a copy of the Ten Commandments among the decorations.
Strange's struggles have already raised concerns among sitting GOP members of Congress, even if he ultimately survives.
"It all boils down to who's best suited to stand with the people of this country — with our president — to make America great again," Strange said.
The two will meet in a Sept. 26 runoff. The winner will face Democratic nominee Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney, in a December election.
The Washington Post this morning calls the Alabama results a tribute to Jeff Sessions, who left his seat in the U.S. Senate to become attorney general:
The inability of any candidate to meet the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff is a reminder of just how dominant Sessions was in Alabama politics. He didn't just win the Republican nomination outright in 2014; he was unopposed in the primary and the general election, a first in state history. Nobody was up to the challenge of running against him.