Controversial Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore lost a contentious election to Doug Jones in Alabama on Tuesday, December 12, after a campaign marked by allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.
The New York Times reports that Moore lost by less than a percentage point to Jones in the special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who vacated his seat to become the U.S. attorney general.
The former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court was expected to have an easy victory until the Washington Post reported on November 9 that four women claimed Moore had pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s and serving as district attorney. One of the women alleged that Moore had touched her sexually when she was just 14. Five more women subsequently came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, with one claiming he sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
The conservative Christian politician, 70, denied the allegations, claiming that his accusers were part of a conspiracy against him.
“I had no encounter with them,” he told The Voice of Alabama Politics on Sunday, December 10. “I never molested anyone, and for them to say that, I don’t know why they’re saying it, but it’s not true.”
While several of his Republican colleagues, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called on him to step aside, President Donald Trump — who is facing his own allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied — formally endorsed Moore earlier this month.
The former reality TV star held a political rally in Pensacola, Florida, near the Alabama border on Friday, December 8, urging people to vote for the candidate and recorded a robocall for him.