Moore and Strange Headed to Runoff; Jones Wins Dem. Primary

Church of the Highlands polling location in Tuscaloosa

For Tuesday, though, Brooks' dream of winning election to the Senate collapsed as he finished a distant third to Roy Moore and Luther Strange - the top two finishers in the GOP primary who advanced to the September 26 runoff.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has jumped to an early lead in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat that previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore was twice removed from his duties as chief justice for his stances supporting the public display of the Ten Commandments and against gay marriage.

"The attempt by the silk-stocking Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed", Moore said in his victory speech reported by The Birmingham News. The GOP victor will move to the general election on December 12 to face Democrat Doug Jones, who emerged from a field of seven candidates without a runoff. However, Moore had a roughly six point margin over unusual.

The Battle of Alabama will go to a second round of voting next month after, as predicted, no Republican could muster at least 50 percent of the vote in a 10-candidate race.

The strongly pro-life and pro-natural marriage Moore cruised to victory in a nine-man Republican field, winning nearly 39 percent of the vote to nearly 33 percent for current Alabama Sen. So far, the group has spent about $4 million of the $10 million it had said it is willing to spend to keep odd in the Senate.

Trump, whose late endorsement of unusual was featured prominently in his closing messages to voters, congratulated him and former state Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore, who led the contest.

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Against that stands Mr. Moore, whose past official ethics violations might look disqualifying outside Alabama, but at home were viewed by some as a badge of honor.

Odd had emphasized his Trump endorsement but had acknowledged all along that a runoff was likely because of the crowded GOP field.

Odd was appointed to fill Sessions' seat temporarily, and has gotten President Donald Trump's endorsement, but Moore said he does support the president's agenda. Brooks chided odd for having millions of dollars pumped into his campaign by powerful lobbying firms in Washington and the Senate Leadership Fund, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's super PAC.

"There are probably a number of incumbents on both sides of the aisle who should take notice of another demonstration that voters still want change", said Greg Strimple, a Republican pollster for a political action committee aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan. "Now in September runoff".

Moore has said same-sex marriage "is going to destroy the nation", and if he didn't fight it he's be "guilty of treason".

Schriver said he expects the McConnell-backed Senate Leadership Fund to "be heavily engaged" on Strange's behalf over the next six weeks.

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