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

Alabama GOP senator: I voted for a write-in instead of Moore
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GOP Alabama Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyFights over police reform, COVID-19 delay Senate appropriations markups Trump's push for major infrastructure bill faces GOP opposition Watchdogs express concern to lawmakers about ability to oversee coronavirus relief funds 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 biggest political upsets of the decade State 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE, who lost the primary to Moore. 

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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 SessionsSupreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Tuberville campaign bus catches fire in Alabama 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.