Roy Moore, the ultraconservative Alabama judge who lost in a 2017 run for the US Senate, has announced he will seek a rematch in the 2020 elections.
The controversial Republican is openly homophobic and has a history of promoting anti-LGBTI sentiments.
Moore lost his 2017 run for the Senate in a special election against Democrat Doug Jones after being plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct.
In the run-up to the special election, numerous women came forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct and harassment when they were teenagers.
Though he denied the claims, and despite the backing of US President Donald Trump, the accusations significantly damaged Moore’s election chances.
Moore has yet to secure the candidacy, though has already experienced a lukewarm reception from members of the Republican party.
Establishment Republicans are concerned the controversial judge’s history could undermine their party’s chances in the election.
A history of homophobia
Moore has largely built his reputation as being a staunch, ultraconservative supporter of the right-wing evangelical values.
In characteristic fashion, he announced his second Senatorial run while stoking disillusionment at the political establishment.
‘The people of Alabama are not only angry, but they’re going to act on that anger,’ Moore said in the Alabama capital, Montgomery, The New York Times reports.
‘The people of Alabama are tired of politicians saying one thing and doing another,’ he added.
The former chief justice of the State Supreme Court has a long expressed his opposition to LGBTI rights and has a history of homophobic and anti-LGBTI comments.
In the past, Moore has said that the LGBTI rights movement will destroy the United States. He has compared same-sex relationships with bestiality, and claimed that gay people are unfit to be parents. He has also said that trans people are mentally ill and should not be given legal rights, The Advocate reports.
In a 2016 podcast, Moore claimed that the legalization of same-sex marriage was worse than a pro-slavery court decision. This came after the US Supreme Court ruled to nationally legalize same-sex marriage in 2015.
He was suspended as Alabama Chief Justice in the same year, partly for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
In November 2017, Moore blamed the LGBTI community as orchestrating a conspiracy to discredit his Senatorial run. The following month, he lost the election to Jones.
Following his election defeat, he posted a video which claimed the ‘heart and soul of our country is at stake’ while refusing to concede.
Several days later, Moore shared an article on his Facebook about Jones’ gay son congratulating his father’s victory. He shared the article without comment, though later deleted the post.
Moore’s failed 2017 Senate run came after he faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment surfaced during his campaign.
Most of the claims came from women who were teenagers or minors when they say Moore approached them.
Numerous women claimed that Moore had acted inappropriately with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore, now 72, has denied he ever acted in such a way.
Establishment Republicans are wary of Moore’s latest run for the Senate. Several high-ranking members, including Trump, have publically warned not to run a second time on a Republican ticket.
They are concerned that if Moore secures the party’s nomination for the Senatorial run, this could undermine their chances of defeating Jones in the traditionally red state.
Last month, Trump tweeted: ‘Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating.’