- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rep. Trey Gowdy warned Tuesday of the difficulties of write-in candidates amid the swirling controversy in the Alabama Senate race.

“I come from a state where Strom Thurmond was actually elected by a write-in, and the mayor of my hometown was elected by a write-in, so it can be done,” Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, said on Fox Business.

But Mr. Gowdy said write-in campaigns are notoriously difficult unless the candidate already has name recognition in the state.

“I think there’s a better way to do it, which is if a candidate is not qualified that candidate should be removed,” he said. “Or if it’s too late to remove them, just let the voters know the person will not be seated.”

Republicans have discussed the possibility of a write-in candidate after allegations that current GOP candidate Roy Moore pursued sexual relationships with minors during his time as district attorney. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he believed the allegations and called on Mr. Moore to step aside.

According to state law, Mr. Moore’s name will still appear on the ballot in the Dec. 12 general election, but a write-in candidate is permitted.

A write-in candidate could split the Republican vote enough to give the edge to Democratic candidate Doug Jones even in deep-red Alabama. Cook Political Report changed the rating of the race to “toss up” in light of the allegations against Mr. Moore.

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