Roy Moore is haunting the GOP Senate primary in Missouri
The failed Senate candidate and accused child molester has endorsed a fringe candidate in the race, and his biggest donor is bankrolling the establishment favorite.
Addy Baird February 26, 2018
A women wears an “I voted” sticker as she waits the arrival of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore for his election night party. Credit: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Failed Alabama Republican Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore is now haunting the GOP primary in Missouri.
Last Friday, Moore endorsed Courtland Sykes, a Republican who demanded in an official campaign statement last month that his fiancée always have a home-cooked dinner waiting for him.
“I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night, one that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives,” Sykes said in January. “Think Norman Rockwell here and Gloria Steinem be damned.”
In the same statement, Sykes called feminists “she devils” and said he didn’t want his someday-daughters, bless their hearts, to be “career-obsessed banshees.”
Moore — who lost to Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) last December after eight women came forward during the election accusing Moore of sexual misconduct — wrote in a letter endorsing Sykes that the Trump-styled Republican is a “man of impeccable character, courage, and Christian faith.”
“We need men like Courtland Sykes in the Senate of the United States, a leader who will not only say what is right, but also a leader who will do what is right,” the letter said. “If you are tired of special interest politicians and liberal news organizations who seek to control us with ‘fake news,’ then I ask for you to vote for Courtland Sykes in the upcoming election for United States Senate.”
Sykes backed Moore during the special election, saying the judge was a “legendary patriot who stands up and fights no matter what” in a video released last November.
In addition to endorsing Moore’s campaign, the video was a 40-minute “mini-documentary” full of conspiracy theories undermining the women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct and abuse and railing against The Washington Post, which first reported some of the allegations against Moore.
“If the Washington Post has its way with Roy Moore in Alabama, then liberals win any election by liberal media lying, and fake news media returns to control politics in America with propaganda, with fake news like the floozy attacks, until conservative America ends or until America itself is finished,” Sykes said in the video. “And we’re not going to let that happen.”
In a release announcing Moore’s endorsement Monday, Sykes reportedly thanked Moore and said it was an honor to be back by one of the country’s “most courageous and legendary conservative figures.”
Sykes is considered a long shot candidate by both Republicans and Democrats in Missouri. The campaign had just $1,800 in the bank at the end of last year, according to The Kansas City Star.
But Sykes isn’t the only Republican Senate hopeful in Missouri running in Moore’s shadow.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is benefiting from donations from businessman Richard Uihlein, who was revealed last November to be Moore’s biggest donor. Through the Proven Conservatives PAC, Uihlein donated $100,000 to support Moore. Now, the mega-donor — who dropped eight figures on 2016 races — has turned his sights to Missouri.
Uihlein has donated $2 million to the Club for Growth Action Missouri super PAC, which is backing Hawley. Uhliein also donated the legal maximum directly to Hawley’s campaign.
Asked whether he’d vote for Moore in the special election last December, Hawley declined to reject the accused predator, saying he “would want to see the evidence.”
“At least some of them are allegations of criminal wrongdoing,” he told reporters at the time. “And that I don’t know what the truth is, but Judge Moore does. And I think that if these allegations are true, he should not be running… I would want to see the evidence. It would be the obligation of the ethics committee, if they did undertake an investigation, to gather actual hard evidence, to weigh the facts and make a report on it.”
In a statement in January, the Missouri Democratic party hit Hawley over the remarks.
“Now we know why Josh Hawley refused to denounce Roy Moore — they share the same out-of-state megadonor,” communications director Brooke Goren said. “This revelation is further proof that a small number of millionaires and dark money special interests are trying to buy Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat for Josh Hawley — and Hawley is willing to do what they ask in return.”
Republicans reportedly have been privately fretting about Hawley in recent weeks, however, after Hawley fell short of expected fundraising goals recently and drew national attention for comments he made linking the sexual revolution to human trafficking.
“We have a human trafficking crisis in our state and in this city and in our country because people are willing to purchase women, young women, and treat them like commodities,” Hawley said in audio first obtained by The Kansas City Star last month. “There is a market for it. Why is there? Because our culture has completely lost its way. The sexual revolution has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined, never have imagined.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Club for Growth was backing Sykes. They are backing Hawley.