Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

GOP effort to push Roy Moore out of U.S. Senate race falters

The Republican effort to persuade U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore to leave the Alabama race appears to have faltered. From the Associated Press:

The divide between the state and national GOP reached new depths late Wednesday as more allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Moore, an outspoken Christian conservative.

Ever defiant, Moore offered fighting words in a tweet addressed to the top Senate Republican: "Dear Mitch McConnell, Bring. It. On."

Chris Hansen, executive director of the national GOP's Senate campaign committee, fired back, "'Bring It On' is a movie about cheerleaders."

NBC News reports that the Alabama Republican party is sticking with the candidate:

The steering committee of the state Republican Party — the only entity with the power to remove Moore from the Dec. 12 special election ballot — took no action on Moore's nomination at a meeting Wednesday.

And the Alabama Media Group, the largest provider of state news via the Internet in Alabama, acknowledged that it was in receipt of a letter from Moore, threatening a lawsuit:

A letter dated Tuesday was sent to an attorney for Alabama Media Group, from Gadsden lawyer Trenton Garmon on behalf of Moore, his wife Kayla, and the Foundation for Moral Law. "This letter is provided in anticipating (sic) of our firm preparing and filing a lawsuit against your client and its agents," the letter states.

A copy of the letter has been circulated on social media since Tuesday, including on the Facebook page of conservative radio talk show host, author, and Washington Times columnist Steve Deace.

That ultimatum issued by Fox News’ Sean Hannity to Moore on Tuesday, insisting that the candidate explain himself in 24 hours or leave the race? A letter from Moore, explaining that he’s at the center of a conspiracy seems to have satisfied the TV opinion show host.

More important, President Donald Trump on Wednesday resisted joining a dump-Moore effort. From the Washington Post:

The White House consented to the Republican National Committee pulling out of a joint fundraising committee with Moore’s campaign and, according to one administration official, discussions about Moore’s campaign have been ongoing among White House officials since Trump returned from Asia.

But there is consensus among senior White House aides that the president is in a bind. If he publicly calls on him to withdraw and Moore demurs — or, worse for Trump, wins the race nevertheless — the president could suffer another embarrassment in Alabama. Yet continued silence from Trump may not be tenable.

That said, before adjourning for the Thanksgiving holiday, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball ranked the Alabama Senate race as leaning toward Democrat Doug Jones:

[E]ven a below-average GOP Senate candidate should still be able to hold Alabama, one of the hardest states for a Democrat to win statewide in the Union: By percentage, the Yellowhammer State was President Donald Trump’s sixth-best state in the 2016 presidential election, and it hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992 (and that Democrat, Sen. Richard Shelby, switched parties in 1994 to become a Republican).

Hice follows U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who sharply denounced Moore on Monday and said he should step aside following a series of reports detailing alleged sexual misconduct with a half-dozen women when they were teenagers. (Tamar Hallerman)


Councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood meet in their first debate in the runoff for mayor of Atlanta this morning.

The event will be livestreamed on the Atlanta Press Club Facebook page, and will be broadcast live on WABE (90.1FM). The debate will be aired at 7 p.m. tonight on PBA30.

A debate of the two remaining candidates for Atlanta city council president, Alex Wan and Felicia Moore, will be livestreamed on the Atlanta Press Club Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. today.


The Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed President Donald Trump's third and final Georgia-based U.S. attorney pick. Bobby Christine will soon join Charlie Peeler and B.J. Pak, whom the Senate okayed earlier this fall to four-year terms. Once sworn in, Christine will lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District, which stretches from Augusta through Savannah. The Columbia County attorney worked for about a decade as an assistant district attorney in the Augusta area before going into private practice and serving as a part-time magistrate court judge. (TH)


David Shafer, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, has been endorsed by two of Georgia’s first Republican members of Congress – Fletcher Thompson and Ben Blackburn.

Both were elected to the Congress in 1966, the year Howard “Bo” Callaway won a plurality of state votes in a race for governor against Lester Maddox – only to lose when the race was thrown to a Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Thompson represented the Fifth District until 1972, when he ran for the United States Senate, losing narrowly to Sam Nunn.  He now lives in Cobb County.

Blackburn, the first of three Republicans to represent Georgia's Fourth District, served in the House until 1974 when he became chairman of the Heritage Foundation.  He now lives in Pickens County.

Both men are now in their 90s.


The Cherokee GOP is hosting what could be the only forum for the candidates for Georgia Republican Party National Committeeman. Chris West and Jason Thompson have both confirmed they will attend the Nov. 18 event, while former state Rep. Melvin Everson can't attend because of a prior commitment. The three are running to fill the slot vacated by Randy Evans, who didn't seek another term and was recently appointed an ambassador to Luxembourg. (GB)


Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile will be in town this weekend, fresh off the release of her juicy tell-all book. The longtime political operative will be participating in a free event downtown on Sunday afternoon in support of her book. Our colleague Sheila Poole has details here. (TH)


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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.