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Roy Moore announces he's running for Alabama Senate seat

Roy Moore looking to the side.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore announced Thursday that he will make another bid for the Alabama Senate seat he lost to Democrat Doug Jones in 2017 in the face of sexual misconduct allegations.

Why it matters: Moore was almost guaranteed a win as the Republican nominee in Alabama’s 2017 special election, but a wave of sexual misconduct allegations, largely involving teenage girls, derailed his candidacy. The resulting chaos handed Jones a narrow 49.9%-48.4% victory — making him the first Democrat to hold statewide office in Alabama since 2008.

What they’re saying: President Trump, who backed Moore in his previous run, tweeted last month that "Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama," adding that Moore "cannot win."

  • In response, Moore told Politico: The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama."
  • Sen. Richard Shelby, the senior senator from Alabama, also said that he believes a Moore run could hand the election to Jones. In response, Moore tweeted that if "Senator Richard Shelby would have stayed out of the 2017 race, Doug Jones would not be in the Senate now."
  • In a response to Moore's announcement, the Mitch McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund said on Thursday: "We believe most Alabama Republicans realize that nominating Roy Moore would be gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer."

The big picture: The GOP's majority in the Senate has had major implications over the past two years, as judicial nominations — including two to the Supreme Court — have often been decided by a handful of votes. Now, with an aging SCOTUS and a number of judicial seats remaining vacant, the fate of just one Senate spot holds serious consequences.

What to watch: Moore is entering an already crowded field, with seven other Republicans already registered for the primary.

Go deeper: Roy Moore sees uptick in polls ahead of 2020 Senate race