02 Week in Politics RESTRICTED
Washington CNN  — 

Roy Moore, the controversial Alabama Republican former judge who lost a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, is looking for a rematch against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones.

Moore made it official in a news conference this afternoon – which he kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance and a defiant message for his detractors.

“Can I win? Yes, I can win. Not only can I, they know I can. That’s why there is such opposition,” Moore said.

Moore lost by 2 percentage points in 2017 as Jones pulled off a surprise upset and carried the ruby red state as a Democrat. Remember that President Donald Trump won Alabama by 27 points – and Trump had endorsed Moore.

But during the campaign, three women alleged Moore had sexually abused them when they were teenagers decades ago. Moore denied the allegations and claimed that there was a “political conspiracy” against him, but the news caused the National Republican Senatorial Committee to cut ties with his campaign and the NRSC chair vowed to never support Moore again.

This time around, Moore isn’t exactly waltzing into the general election – the former judge faces strong opposition from members of his party. Moore joins an already populated primary field, including US Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville and state Rep. Arnold Mooney.

And Trump, Moore’s biggest advocate in 2017, has already pooh-poohed the bid, saying Moore “cannot win” and that “Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama.”

Moore said today that his decision to run was not going against Trump’s wishes – and added that he will vote for Trump again, even if Trump doesn’t vote for him. 

The Point: Despite requests by Republicans in his home state and even the Oval Office for him to stay out, Roy Moore is back for seconds.