On Friday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) told reporters that she plans to vote for Judge Roy Moore, who is running in the state’s U.S. Senate special election, despite allegations that he approached teenage girls and in some cases, sexually assaulted them. Her statements come as Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, maintains he will not step out of the race.
“I will cast my ballot on December the 12,” Ivey said. “And I do believe that the nominee of the party is the one I will vote for.”
The governor said she wanted a Republican in the Senate to vote on “things like Supreme Court justices.”
Although Ivey told reporters that she had “no reason to disbelieve any of [the women accusing him],” she called the timing of the allegations “a little curious.”
Many Republican senators have pulled their support of Roy Moore, as more women have come forward about their alleged experiences with Moore from when they were teenagers. The Greater Birmingham Young Republicans have also disavowed Moore, though many other prominent Alabama Republicans and groups continue to support him, according to the Washington Post.
Last week, the Post published the first in a series of stories about the allegations. In it, the outlet reported how a 32-year-old Moore had approached a 14-year-old Leigh Corfman outside a courtroom in 1979, offering to watch Corfman for her mother — who was there to deal with a child custody issue — and later asking Corfman for her phone number. On later occasions, Corfman said, he allegedly kissed her, took his clothes off, groped her over her bra and underwear and guided her to touch him over his underwear. In that same report, three other women also claimed that Moore had approached them when they were teenagers, asking them for dates.
Since then, five other women have come forward with their own allegations about Moore. One woman, Beverly Young Nelson, said that when she was 16, Moore had offered to drive her home from her waitressing job, but instead parked his car in the back of the restaurant, forced her head into his crotch, and groped her. Speaking with AL.com on November 15, Tina Johnson also claimed that Moore sexually assaulted her during a visit to his law office to sign over custody of her son to her mother, with whom he had been living at the time. Johnson was 28 and in the middle of initiating a divorce from her husband at the time.
The list goes on. Another woman, Gena Richardson has since come forward, saying that Moore approached her in a mall when she was a teenager and that, when she did not give him her number, he called her at school to ask her out. When she agreed to meet him, she alleges he forced a kiss on her. Becky Gray also claims that she met Moore at a mall. Gray was 22 when she repeatedly turned Moore down for several dates. According to Gray’s account, when she complained about Moore to a manager, the manager said other women and girls had complained about Moore on previous occasions.
Wendy Miller told the Post that she was 14 when Moore first spoke to her and 16 when he began asking her out on dates.
Moore has continuously denied that the stories are true.
Ivey’s decision to stand by Moore isn’t entirely surprising, given that the two share similar views on many issues, including the removal of Confederate statues and LGBT rights. One of Ivey’s first major decisions as governor was to protect the state’s Confederate monuments from being removed: the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 prohibits the removal, alteration, and relocation of monuments on public property that have been in place for more than 40 years.
In May, Ivey also signed legislation that protects faith-based adoption organizations that choose not to place children with same-sex parents, based on the agency’s religious beliefs.
“This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home,” Ivey stated at the time.
A new Fox News poll conducted Monday through Wednesday showed that the allegations against Moore may be having an impact on his numbers: Democrat Doug Jones has an eight-point lead over Moore among likely voters in the Dec. 12 special election.