Alabama GOP senator: I voted for a write-in instead of Moore

Alabama GOP senator: I voted for a write-in instead of Moore
© Hill File Photo

GOP Alabama Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyForeign aid for conservation is a benefit to US consumers Rand Paul delivers Putin letter from Trump Senators privately met foreign allies to reassure them of NATO support MORE said on Monday that he did not vote for Republican nominee Roy Moore in the state's Senate special election.

"No, no, no, I voted absentee. I didn't vote for him. I voted for a distinguished Republican write-in," Shelby told reporters when asked if he would vote for Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. 

Shelby didn't say whose name he wrote in. 

Lee Busby,  a former aide to White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, is planning to start a write-in campaign, and Republican leaders had floated a write-in campaign for Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump to GOP: I will carry you GOP strategist: Trump will be anchor around Republicans' necks in general election Trump: I ‘destroy' careers of Republicans who say bad things about me MORE, who lost the primary to Moore. 

ADVERTISEMENT

GOP senators have scrambled to distance themselves from Moore, who is accused of pursuing, inappropriately touching or sexually assaulting a string of teenagers when he was in his 30s. 

Moore has denied wrongdoing, and it's too late for Republicans to remove his name from the ballot for the Dec. 12 election. 

Shelby's comments on Monday come after he told reporters earlier this month that he would "probably" write in a candidate rather than support Moore. 

"Well, it's not a good situation. I wish we had another candidate," Shelby told reporters at the time. 

Shelby, like most GOP senators, endorsed Strange, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fight in states | Trump urges Sessions to sue opioid makers | FDA approves first generic version of EpiPen Connect Beltway to America to get federal criminal justice reform done Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE, in the primary.

Democratic candidate Doug Jones is currently leading in the polls by less than a percentage point, according to the Real Clear Politics average.