(Reuters) – Alabama Republican Roy Moore, whose 2017 U.S. Senate bid was derailed by allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct involving teenage girls, said on Thursday he would run again for the seat next year, defying his party’s leadership.
The prospect of a rematch between Moore – a conservative former judge who cultivated controversy even before the salacious allegations against him – and U.S. Senator Doug Jones – widely considered the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in 2020 – had gotten pushback from Republican Party leaders, including President Donald Trump.
“If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost,” Trump wrote on Twitter last month. “Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating!”
Moore, 72, embraced his status as an outsider on Thursday, criticizing Republicans in Washington for trying to influence the Alabama race. He did…