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In Alabama, Judge Moore Takes Aim at Incumbent

Deposed Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore today formally entered the Republican primary against Gov. Bob Riley, setting up a high-profile, intraparty battle likely to reverberate in national conservative circles.


Roy Moore (AP File Photo)

Moore made his announcement in Gadsden, the Alabama town where he first gained national recognition in the 1990s as a circuit court judge who refused to take down a wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. When Moore was elected chief justice in 2000, he continued to court controversy by installing a huge, granite monument to the commandments in the state's judicial building. He was eventually removed from office in 2003 after refusing a federal judge's order to remove the statue.

Moore's martyrdom turned him into a hero among religious conservatives both in Alabama and nationally. In the intervening two years, he has spoken in dozens of states on the issue and was pushed by conservatives as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result, Moore is likely to enjoy the strong support of that bloc in the primary, while Riley will rely on the establishment wing of the party including the business community.

Democrats face a primary of their own between former governor Don Siegelman and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley.

The Associated Press has a write-up of the Moore news.  The Atlantic Monthly had a lengthy feature piece on Moore's political aspirations in its Oct. issue.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 3, 2005; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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