Several Alabama newspapers are endorsing Democrat Doug Jones in the state's Senate race amid sexual misconduct allegations against Republican Judge Roy Moore, saying Jones is the only candidate left in the race who is worthy of representing Alabama.
"A vote for Roy Moore sends the worst kind of message to Alabamians struggling with abuse: 'if you ever do tell your story, Alabama won't believe you.' Or, worse, we'll believe you but we just won't care," the Editorial Board of AL.com wrote Sunday.
The board, which made its case in a lengthy piece, urged voters to "reject" Moore and called the accusations against the candidate "horrifying, but not shocking."
"Every day new allegations arise that illustrate a pattern of a man in his 30s strutting through town like the cock of the walk, courting and preying on young women and girls. And though Roy Moore has denied the accusations of these women, his own platform and record is hostile to so many Alabamians," the board wrote.
Members of AL.com's Editorial Board include Tom Bates, who leads Alabama Media Group, which runs AL.com, produces video programming, and publishes The Birmingham News, Birmingham Magazine, Huntsville Times and Mobile's Press-Register; Michelle Holmes, who is vice president of content at Alabama Media Group; and K.A. Turner, who is senior editor of the newspapers published by Alabama Media Group.
The board wrote that as a news organization it has investigated the stories of "several" Alabama women who spoke to the organization, as well as to The Washington Post, "about the abuse they say they suffered at the hands of Roy Moore decades ago."
In a story first reported by The Washington Post earlier this month, four womenof pursuing them when they were teens and he was in his 30s. One of them said he initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old. have since stepped forward with .
Moore has denounced the allegations as "fake news," telling, "I'm the only one that can unite Democrats and Republicans, because I seem to be opposed by both."
On Sunday, the AL.com Editorial Board wrote, "In the American system, proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a consideration for the courtroom, not the ballot box. It is our job as voters to look closely at the candidates and make up our own minds."
"Do not let this conversation be muddled. This election has become a referendum on whether we will accept this kind of behavior from our leaders."
The AL.com Editorial Board wrote that voters have three choices: stay home from the vote, write in a candidate they see fit, or go with Jones,.