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 ShelbyCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Bipartisan group of senators will urge Trump to reopen government for 3 weeks Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight 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 StrangeDomestic influence campaigns borrow from Russia’s playbook Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Five things to watch in Mississippi Senate race 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: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known 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.