- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2017

Mitt Romney said Friday that it’s time for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to step aside from his Senate race, amid allegations he pursued a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

“Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside,” Mr. Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts governor, tweeted.

Mr. Romney is rumored to be considering a run for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat, should the Utah senator decide to retire ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Other Republicans have responded in the wake of The Washington Post story that came out late Thursday. The report details an account from a woman who says Mr. Moore pursued her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32. Another three women also claim Mr. Moore pursued them as teenagers as well.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the claims were “deeply troubling” and that Mr. Moore should not be in the Senate if they turn out to be true.

Mr. Moore denied the allegations in an email to supporters on Thursday.

“Their goal is to frustrate and slow down our campaign’s progress to help the Obama-Clinton Machine silence our conservative message,” he said in the email.

The firebrand conservative was already unpopular with establishment Republicans and President Trump, who largely backed Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s Republican primary earlier this year. Mr. Strange filled the seat that was open when Jeff Sessions left to become the attorney general.

Mr. Moore was backed by former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon and other conservative leaders.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday she spoke with Mr. Strange about a possible write-in campaign in wake of the allegations, The Hill reported. Ms. Murkowski, Alaska Republican, won a successful write-in campaign in 2010.

Alabama state law does not prohibit Mr. Strange’s name from appearing as a write-in candidate, but he could not appear on the general election ballot.

Mr. Strange has not publicly commented on the possibility of a write-in campaign at this time.

S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

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