Rep. Bradley Byrne joins fellow Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt in backing Roy Moore
Byrne said, 'The people of Alabama can make up their minds about this'
After being asked repeatedly and in different ways by reporters Thursday, Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne revealed he is still voting for Roy Moore, his party’s embattled nominee for the state’s open Senate seat.
“Of course I’m going to vote, I’m a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, I don’t vote for Democrats,” Byrne said repeatedly. Asked specifically whether he would vote for another Republican other than Moore, as Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby indicated he would with a write-in vote, Byrne finally said he doesn’t write in other candidates’ names.
Byrne said he doesn’t believe Moore will drop out of the race and called the idea that Sen. Luther Strange was going to wage a write-in campaign “crazy.”
“If Luther Strange couldn’t have won in a run-off election a few weeks ago, he’s sure not going to win a write-in campaign,” Byrne said.
Strange was appointed to the US Senate seat after then-Sen. Jeff Sessions left to become attorney general. Strange lost the GOP primary race for the seat to Moore earlier this year.
Byrne has been avoiding questions and said, “I haven’t put out a statement, think there’s been too much talking out of Washington to the people of Alabama. The people of Alabama can make up their minds about this. They don’t need politicians in Washington, the national news media, telling them what to do.”
Byrne, along with other members of the Alabama Republican delegation in the House, endorsed Moore after the divisive GOP primary. His colleague, Alabama Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt, said on Wednesday that he remained supportive of Moore “at this point.”
Throughout his political career, Moore has been a divisive figure for his outspoken comments criticizing Islam and condemning homosexuality. But he’s been particularly embattled since The Washington Post last week reported allegations that Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his early thirties. One of them, Leigh Corfman, accused Moore of initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was 32.
Alabama’s legal age of consent, then and now, is 16.
Three others told the Post that Moore had sought them out when they were teens. On Monday, another Alabama woman came forward and accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday: “They’re not only untrue, but they have no evidence to support them.”
CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Tal Yellin contributed to this report.