A new candidate has emerged the embattled Alabama Senate race. Lee Busby, a retired Marine colonel, has announced that he will challenge Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones as an independent candidate in the special election to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions.
Per the Daily Beast, Busby, who served as a vice chief of staff to then-Gen. John Kelly, the current White House chief of staff, has worked as a defense consultant and investment banker since his retirement after 31 years as a Marine. In his spare time, Busby sculpts busts of fallen soldiers.
“Alabama is not happy with the two choices we have down here. They are not appealing,” Busby said.
Roy Moore, the embattled Republican candidate for the Alabama Senate seat, has been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with teenage girls when Moore was in his 30s. Additionally, Moore has embraced a number of conspiracy theories and failed to complete two terms as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Polls showed a close race even before the allegations against Moore became public.
Busby’s entrance into the race as a write-in candidate is bad news for Roy Moore, who seemed to be consolidating a lead in recent days. Many prominent Republicans refused to support Moore on the basis of the credible accusations against him, but others, including President Trump, supported him on the grounds that the Senate seat was too important to lose to Democrats. Busby provides a conservative alternative for Alabamans who cannot vote for a man credibly accused of sexual assaulting teenage girls, but who also reject the liberal positions of the Democrats.
With the Alabama special election set for Dec. 12, Busby has only two weeks to mount a campaign. The late entry into the race means that Busby stands almost no chance of winning, but he could act as a spoiler in the tight race.