Marine Colonel Announces Run Against Roy Moore: ‘Hold My Beer’

Lee Busby has launched a long-shot bid 15 days before Alabama chooses its next senator. ‘Alabama is not happy with the two choices we have down here. They are not appealing.’

Photo Illsutration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

When retired Marine Col. Lee Busby read it was too late for a write-in candidate for the Alabama Senate race, he said, “Hold my beer, we will just see about that.”

Busby told The Daily Beast on Monday he is launching his long-shot bid to stop Republican nominee Roy Moore from reaching the Senate.

“I have no idea if the allegations against him true or not, but I don’t see anything within his experience as a judge that qualifies him for the job.”

Busby said his state needs a choice other than Moore or Democrat Doug Jones.

“Alabama is not happy with the two choices we have down here. They are not appealing.”

Busby said he spent 31 years in the Marine Corps and on his last tour of duty was vice chief of staff to then-Gen. John Kelly, who is now White House chief of staff.

Since retiring, Busby has been the CEO of his own business and worked as a defense consultant and investment banker. At the same time, Busby has been honoring fallen Marines with sculptures like the one he was working on in his garage prior to his Senate announcement.

Busby was making a bust of Capt. George “Alexi’ Whitney, who was killed during a CIA operation in Afghanistan in December 2016.

“Unfortunately, I can only sculpt one at a time, but they are important to do,” Busby said. “He was a well rounded individual, devoted to his country. Tough and brave, these are the people we should be erecting monuments to.”

Busby’s long-shot bid is the latest event to shake up the race that has seen at least six women accuse Moore of preying on them while they were teenagers and he was an adult in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Washington Post initially quoted four women saying Moore pursued relationships with them, one of whom was 14 when she alleges Moore molested her. Another woman, Beverly Young Nelson, accused Moore of attempting to rape her when she was 16 years old. Nelson showed a yearbook she says was signed by “Roy Moore, D.A.” as evidence.

The day after The Washington Post story, the Republican Party’s Senate campaign arm severed financial ties with Moore’s campaign. Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called for Moore to drop out of the race, or else face expulsion should he win.

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Meanwhile, President Trump has only increased his support of Moore, tweeting over the weekend that Jones must be defeated.

“The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!” the president tweeted.

The White House said Trump has no plans to campaign in Alabama for Moore.

When the first story of Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct broke in early November, Republican senators started to abandon him.

Moore has denied all of the allegations, threatened to sue The Washington Post for reporting some of them and sought to discredit the stories and portray them as an element of a “Washington establishment” hellbent on keeping him from earning a Senate seat.

Since the scandal broke, both public and private polls have shown the race is a virtual dead heat, with some polls even showing Jones leading Moore before the Dec. 12 election. If elected, Jones would be the first Democrat elected U.S. senator from Alabama in a quarter century.

—with additional reporting by Gideon Resnick