Alabama's senior senator will 'probably' write in candidate rather than vote for Moore

Alabama's senior senator will 'probably' write in candidate rather than vote for Moore

The senior senator from Alabama, Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyLawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands  On The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday MORE (R), said on Wednesday that he will likely write in a name during next month's Alabama special election rather than support GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

"I'll vote Republican but I will probably write in a good candidate," Shelby told reporters when asked about his plans for the Dec. 12 election.

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Senate Republicans are increasing pressure on Moore to withdraw from the race. The Republican candidate is facing multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct toward teenage girls.

Shelby has called on Moore to "seriously consider" dropping out.

"Well it's not a good situation. I wish we had another candidate," Shelby added on Wednesday. Shelby endorsed Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeState 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE (R-Ala.) in the primary race. Strange was defeated by Moore.

Moore remains defiant, saying he plans to stay in the race and that he has done nothing wrong.

It's too late for Republicans to remove Moore's name from the ballot, though leadership is exploring a potential write-in option.

Shelby didn't say whose name he would write in, but noted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE, who left the Senate to join the administration, would be the "ideal candidate."

GOP senators are warning that if Moore wins they will be legally required to seat him. But he would likely face an ethics investigation that could pave the way for an expulsion vote.