- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is helping Alabama Sen. Luther Strange raise money as Strange heads to a heated runoff with firebrand judge Roy Moore.

An invitation shows that McConnell is scheduled to appear Thursday at a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington D.C where prices begin at $500 per person. The appearance comes after a super PAC with ties to McConnell has spent heavily on behalf of Strange in the fiercely contested Alabama race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat.

The fundraiser is scheduled even though Strange this week broke ranks with McConnell and sided with President Donald Trump in calling for an end to the Senate rule that requires a 60-vote threshold on most legislation.

Strange is in a contentious runoff with Moore, the state’s former chief justice who has a loyal following among the state’s evangelical voters. Republican voters go to the polls Sept. 26. The winner will face Democrat Doug Jones in December.

Strange has the backing of President Donald Trump and McConnell. Moore on Wednesday picked up the endorsement of House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. He was endorsed Tuesday by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

A judicial ethics panel removed Moore from office in 2003 for defying a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. After he was re-elected the panel suspended him in 2016, ruling that Moore had urged probate judges to defy federal court rulings and refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.

Moore led Strange by 25,000 votes in the first round of balloting.


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