The race for the Alabama Senate seat has been a wild rollercoaster over the last year. In a stunning upset, Roy Moore defeated establishment candidate Luther Strange despite being massively out funded. Since this point, the Republican Party has experienced a love-hate relationship with the former State Supreme Court Chief Justice.
No Republican wants a Democrat going to the United States Senate, but many are uneasy about Moore.
Colonel Lee Busby, a Marine Corps veteran and former aide to John Kelly, has announced he will be launching a write-in candidacy for the Senate seat. Although a write-in candidacy is generally considered a long shot, this represents a third option for voters wanting an alternative.
Busby himself stated he views himself as a more centrist candidate, as he views both sides of the spectrum well guarded. Democrats have their long-shot candidate who, in any other race, would be considered a losing candidate before the first ballot is cast. Republicans have their candidate who, in any other race, would be considered the probable winner ahead of the election.
But as the theocratic Roy Moore continues to face allegations of sexual relations with minors, many Republicans are seeking an alternative that appears less like a hypocrite.
Busby’s campaign comes at a time when the White House announced that President Trump would not be campaigning for the embattled Republican candidate. It had been speculated that the President was supportive of Moore after stating his opposition to a Democrat winning the election.
Could President Trump be the difference maker?
The President himself has notably surrounded himself with military leaders, such as Busby’s former boss John Kelly and James “Mad Dog” Mattis. While Moore himself was busy defending biblical law monuments at a courthouse, Busby was serving in the United States military and fighting terrorists overseas.
Busby’s LinkedIn page details his military service. He served 31 years in the Marines, with half of that time being in the reserves and the other active duty. In addition to his military service, he also has experience in the private sector, another quality the President likes in people as well.
The Alabama race has been interesting because it’s breaking traditional political paradigms. Instead of being the traditional Democrat versus Republican, there are people unhappy with both selections and open to alternatives. The Republican Party isn’t ready to run away with a seat in Alabama, which in itself is shocking.
If Moore does succeed, it will be a victory for Republicans. But how will Moore’s controversial approach, his sex allegations involving minors, and theocratic leanings play into Senate politics? Even the White House apparently doesn’t seem optimistic, though the President himself has clearly stated that he doesn’t favor a Democrat winning.
A write-in candidacy is a long shot in itself and they often end in failure. But the candidacy of retired Colonel Lee Busby presents a unique dynamic in a race that is anything but conventional and typical. The final weeks of the Alabama Senate race promise to be a heated time for politics.