Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday that she will be voting for Republican Senate hopeful Roy Moore despite numerous allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the candidate over the last week.
Ivey announced at the annual turkey pardon in Montgomery that she would still vote for Moore, though she said she had concerns about the allegations, according to reports from the event.
She cited Republican control of the Senate as the main factor in her choosing to support Moore's candidacy.
Gov. Ivey says she'll vote for the Republican nominee, Roy Moore.— Lauren Walsh (@LaurenWalshTV) November 17, 2017
But, she is not discrediting those who accused him of sexual abuse: "I certainly have no reason to disbelieve any of them. The timing is a little curious but at the same time, I have no reason to disbelieve them."
Ivey's decision to stick with Moore comes after up to eight women levied allegations against Moore. Three women have said Moore sexually assaulted them in the 1970s and 1990s — one was younger than the age of consent. At least five others have said Moore pursued them and persistently asked them out on dates when they were 16-18.
Moore was in his 30s at the time.
One accuser, Leigh Corfman, told the Washington Post that Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14. Another, Beverly Young Nelson, said Moore assaulted her in his car outside of a restaurant she was working at in Gadsden, Alabama. He had offered her a ride home, according to her account.
A third accuser, Tina Johnson, told AL.com that Moore groped her buttocks in 1991 after a meeting in his law office over a child custody dispute.
Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, held a rally in Montgomery Friday morning along with several other women who came forward to dismiss the accusers and their allegations, which she said are politically motivated.
"I have been married to my husband, Judge Roy Moore, for over 32 years. He was a graduate of West Point. He served our country in Vietnam," she said. "He has always been an officer and a gentleman. He is a loving father and a grandfather."
A poll released Thursday by Fox News showed Democratic challenger Doug Jones with an 8-point lead. Likely voters were split on whether to believe the allegations.
Kayla Moore said her husband won't drop out despite calls from Republican leaders in Washington for him to withdraw.
"The people of Alabama understand what's going on here," Kayla Moore said. "The people of Alabama know him."
The Alabama Republican Party held a meeting Wednesday night to determine if they would continue supporting Moore. The ALGOP, in a statement released Thursday, said they won't remove Moore from the ballot.
“The ALGOP Steering Committee supports Judge Roy Moore as our nominee and trusts the voters as they make the ultimate decision in this crucial race," chairwoman Terry Lathan said in the statement.
Ivey said Friday she is not considering voiding the election or changing the date again, despite some calls for her to do so.
Most other Republican state officials have elected to stay with Moore. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, is so far the only statewide elected official to break with Moore, saying he would "absolutely not" vote for Moore and would write-in a "distinguished" candidate instead.
At the rally, which was billed as a gathering to defend Moore's reputation, Kayla Moore and the other women blasted the press and Moore's accusers for what they billed as a political hit job.
"The Washington Post has called everybody that I have ever known for the last 40 years," she said. "They print whatever anyone says without checking to even see if it's correct."
The Post reported that they interviewed at least 30 sources for their story. All of the women and their attorneys have stood by the accusations. Moore has broadly denied the allegations, and he specifically denied the allegations of Corfman and Nelson.