Misconduct claims shake up Alabama U.S. Senate race

Disclaimer: the below story includes discussion of a sensitive nature related to alleged inappropriate conduct between an adult and a minor.

Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore is the target of allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a then-14-year-old girl when he was 32.

In a months-long investigation by Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites of The Washington Post, the alleged victim Leigh Corfman states that Moore met her outside a custody hearing and later took her back to his place where he initiated sexual contact, but not intercourse.

Moore denies the allegations, repeatedly calling them “fake news” in interviews. He is using the newfound attention as part of fundraising efforts.

Meanwhile, other evidence of Moore’s propensities have come forth. According to CNN Senior National Correspondent Alexander Marquardt, a former assistant district attorney that worked in the same space as Moore stated, “[i]t was common knowledge that [Moore] dated high school girls.”

Moore has enjoyed a comfortable lead in the polls and numerous high-profile endorsements, but as the allegations gain steam those endorsements have been melting away. Among those rebuking Moore are potential Senate colleagues like Utah Senator Mike Lee and Montana Senator Steve Daines.

Other politicians have weighed in as well, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stating, “[i]nnocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman,” adding that Moore should drop out. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) also added his voice demanding Moore leave the race.

Such a move would change the dynamics of the race dramatically, and Democratic candidate Doug Jones would likely become the instant frontrunner. This possibility has led some GOP officials in Alabama to look to rescheduling the race, but Governor Kay Ivey said she has no plans to do so.

The Alabama special election is still scheduled to be held Dec. 12.