Tuesday 24 October 2017

Trump ally loses vote to outsider

Steve Bannon speaks to the crowd prior to Republican candidate Roy Moore greeting the audience of supporters after defeating incumbent Luther Strange in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo: Marvin Gentry/Reuters
Steve Bannon speaks to the crowd prior to Republican candidate Roy Moore greeting the audience of supporters after defeating incumbent Luther Strange in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo: Marvin Gentry/Reuters

Rob Crilly

Alabama voters selected a conservative outsider candidate to be the Republican nominee to fill a Senate seat, according to US media tallies, dealing a blow to Donald Trump and party leaders who backed a more conventional candidate.

Roy Moore, the victorious candidate, is best known for twice being removed as the state's most senior judge - for refusing a court order demanding he remove a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse and for defying the Supreme Court's decision legalising same-sex marriage.

The run-off had been billed as the battle of Trump versus Trumpism.

While the president supported Luther Strange, who took over the seat when Jeff Sessions vacated it to become attorney general, Mr Trump's populist allies including Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon backed Mr Moore as the better anti-establishment figure.

Mr Moore argued that the election was a chance to send a message to the "elite Washington establishment" that was trying to influence the race in the shape of an estimated $9m channelled to Mr Strange from the Senate Leadership Fund, a group with links to the party leadership. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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