Former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore cruised to victory over incumbent U.S. Senator Luther Strange in the Heart of Dixie’s high stakes GOP primary Tuesday evening – delivering a decisive rebuke to establishment “Republicans” in Washington, D.C. Moore’s win also came despite the efforts of U.S. president Donald Trump, who endorsed Strange’s candidacy and campaigned with the centrist politician.
Trump’s backing failed to move the needle for Strange, who was appointed by former Alabama governor Robert Bentley (this guy) back in February to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Moore received 262,204 votes (54.6 percent) compared to Strange’s 218,066 votes (45.4 percent).
A staunch social conservative, Moore gained national fame in 2003 for refusing to remove a monument he commissioned of the Ten Commandments from Alabama’s judicial complex. He now advances to face Democrat Doug Jones in a special election scheduled for December 12.
We’ve been following this race closely because another establishment “Republican” in the deep south – governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina – is banking on Trump’s endorsement to carry him to victory in the state’s 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary.
Should he, though?
Like Strange, McMaster also owes the office he’s trying to hang onto to Trump.
Trump’s appointment of former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations paved the way for McMaster to become governor of the Palmetto State back in January. It was also supposed to have cleared the field for him in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial election.
Things haven’t turned out that way, though … at all.
McMaster’s early momentum has been blunted by his proximity to an ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government. As a result, he has drawn multiple credible challengers – most notably Lowcountry attorney Catherine Templeton.
Ready for some irony, though?
Templeton’s top campaign consultant – Ward Baker of Tennessee – was on the losing end of the Alabama election. Not only that, he was among those specifically called out by Steve Bannon, Trump’s former senior strategist.
“For Mitch McConnell and Ward Baker and Karl Rove and Steven Law – all the instruments that tried to destroy Judge Moore and his family – your day of reckoning is coming,” Bannon told Alabama voters this week.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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Banner via @MooreSenate