Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is running for the U.S. Senate and this week announced that a former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party will lead his campaign.
Moore, a conservative Christian known for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses and for promoting courthouse displays of the Ten Commandments, is running for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat.
Bill Armistead was state GOP chairman from 2011 to 2015 and served two terms in the state Senate starting in 1994. Armistead shares Moore’s conservative values and is a vocal opponent of gay marriage, reports AL.com.
“Bill will help us engage the real people of Alabama who are frustrated by establishment politics in Washington and want a senator who will be their voice,” Moore said in a press release.
Moore was suspended as chief justice last year after he told probate judges they had to uphold the state’s ban on gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 struck down laws banning same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Moore has maintained that the federal government does not have constitutional authority to redefine marriage.
In April, Moore resigned as chief justice to run for the Senate in a special election later this year. The winner will serve the remainder of Sessions’ term, which runs through 2020. Luther Strange, former Alabama state attorney general, was appointed to fill the seat temporarily and will run against Moore in the Aug. 15 Republican primary. There are eight other candidates in the race.
Moore was removed from an earlier stint as chief justice in 2003 for refusing a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he installed in the rotunda of the state judicial building. A CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll showed that only one in five Americans approved of the federal court order to remove the monument.
As a circuit court judge in the 1990s, Moore fought a lawsuit over a wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments he displayed behind the bench in his courtroom. The complaint was dismissed on technical grounds.
Moore was re-elected as chief justice in 2012 after two unsuccessful bids for governor.
A Vietnam War veteran, Moore years ago fought professionally as a kickboxer and worked as a cowboy.