U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas is one of a growing number of Republican senators calling for Roy Moore to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Arkansas’ other senator, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, has not responded to questions about Moore’s candidacy.
Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court judge who was twice elected to and twice removed from the court, faces Democratic candidate Doug Jones in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. Jones is the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
Moore, 70, has been accused by five women as of Tuesday (Nov. 14) of sexual misconduct. The first story broke when the Washington Post reported he initiated sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has called for Moore to withdraw from the race, and as of Tuesday morning ABC News reported that 15 Republican senators were calling for the same. No Republican U.S. senator has called for Moore to stay in the race.
However, it is too late to reprint ballots for the Dec. 12 special election. Alabama Republican Party leadership supports Moore’s candidacy and have rejected calls for write-in candidates.
Talk Business & Politics asked Boozman and Cotton the following questions.
• Does the Senator support, endorse or oppose Roy Moore’s candidacy for Senate?
• If Moore wins the Alabama Senate seat, will the Senator support or oppose his being seated as a member?
“Senator Boozman believes Roy Moore should withdraw from the race. I can’t answer the hypothetical, but that could possibly be avoided if Mr. Moore would step aside,” Boozman spokesman Patrick Creamer noted in a response.
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was an early Moore supporter but has since withdrawn his endorsement.
“Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate,” Lee noted in a statement.
Chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas Michael John Gray called on Sen. Cotton to join other Republicans who have asked Moore to withdraw.
“We’ve learned more than enough to be loud and unequivocal in our condemnation of the heinous acts Roy Moore has conducted. Silence in these horrible situations acts as an enabler,” Gray said in a statement. “I call on Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama U.S. Senate race and ask Senator Tom Cotton to join Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan in condemning these vile acts and demanding Roy Moore to step aside. For someone who runs towards the microphone on seemingly every national issue, Senator Cotton’s silence speaks volumes.”
Talk Business & Politics will update this story when/if a response is received from U.S. Sen. Cotton.