Judge rejects Roy Moore's suit in Alabama Senate race

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But the Moore campaign launched a last-minute court battle to stop state officials from certifying Jones as the victor, saying it should be delayed until a "thorough investigation of potential election fraud", according to his press release.

The outgoing Republican senator, Luther Strange, who was appointed to the post vacated by Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions but lost the primary to Moore, was the top write-in candidate in most counties.

Many such ballots followed the recommendation of the serving Alabama senator Richard Shelby, who said shortly before the vote he could not vote for Moore and would instead write in the name of another Republican.

Moore said allegations that he was involved with a minor child are "untrue" and said the newspaper "will be sued", drawing a round of applause. "I've had to fight not only the Democrats but also the Republican Senate Leadership Fund and over $50 million in opposition spending from the Washington establishment". He added, "We do not plan to let anybody deter us from this race". He told supporters, "I'm counting on you to stand with me at this critical moment by chipping in a donation to help me bust through the vicious lies and attacks and get the truth out to as many voters as possible before December 12". The official numbers certified Thursday showed that Jones slightly expanded his lead over Moore.

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State officials did not tally statewide numbers of write-ins but numbers submitted by counties showed that odd received more than 7,500 votes, roughly a third of the write-in total.

Moore had entered the race as a favorite, even after his controversial history of being removed from the Supreme Court bench twice, but the sexual misconduct accusations that followed him, caused him to lose in the race. They included a statement which read in part, "The president believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside".

While he called the allegations "completely false and misleading", in an interview with conservative radio host Sean Hannity he did not wholly rule out dating teenage girls when he was in his early 30s. It was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama.

Moore's campaign filed a very last minute appeal to the court where it was requested to hold the certification as a larger investigation was done into the fraud allegations.

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