Alabama GOP stands behind Moore: 'Alabamians will be the ultimate jury'

Alabama GOP stands behind Moore: 'Alabamians will be the ultimate jury'
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The Alabama Republican Party said Thursday that it is standing with GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, despite mounting accusations of sexual misconduct levied against the former judge.

“The ALGOP Steering Committee supports Judge Roy Moore as our nominee and trusts the voters as they make the ultimate decision in this crucial race,” state party chair Terry Lathan said in a statement.

“Judge Moore has vehemently denied the allegations made against him. He deserves to be presumed innocent of the accusations unless proven otherwise. He will continue to take his case straight to the people of Alabama.”

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GOP leaders in the state issued the statement Thursday as a defiant Moore insisted he will not exit the race despite numerous calls for him to do so from Republican senators including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE (R-Ky.).

“We trust the Alabama voters in this election to have our beloved state and nation’s best interest at heart. Alabamians will be the ultimate jury in this election- not the media or those from afar,” Lathan said in her statement.

Moore has denied an accusation from a woman, Leigh Corfman, in a story in The Washington Post last week that he had a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32.

The story also included accounts from three other women who said Moore made romantic advances toward them around the same time, when they were between 16 and 18 years old.

The former Alabama judge admitted in an interview last week that he may have dated women in their later teens during that time in his life, but said he did not “remember anything like that” alleged by Corfman.

Multiple other women have come forward with various sexual misconduct allegations against Moore since the original story was published, including one woman who said Moore assaulted her when she was 16.

An attorney for Moore on Wednesday sought to cast doubt on that allegation, calling for a yearbook belonging to that accuser that allegedly contains Moore’s signature to be released for an analysis.

Moore has maintained he will not leave the race, saying the allegations are an attempt by McConnell and his allies to “steal” the special election. President Trump has also so far not called for Moore to exit the race, though McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway MORE (R-Wis.) have both done so.

Moore ran an insurgent primary campaign against the Republican establishment earlier this year, repeatedly criticizing McConnell and other GOP leaders in Washington who backed his primary opponent, incumbent Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE (R-Ala.).

Both the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have cut fundraising ties with Moore’s campaign as a result of the sexual misconduct allegations.

Moore is set to face Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE.