Long before he was a Senate candidate dogged by allegations that he routinely preyed on teenage girls while he was in his thirties, Roy Moore ran a race for district attorney. And during that race he campaigned, in part, on enhancing judicial procedures to combat claims of sexual abuse against children.
The election in Etowah County, in 1986, was between Moore and Jim Hedgspeth, both of whom were, at the time, Democrats in private practice. Each replied to a questionnaire from The Gadsden Times, in which they were asked: “What are your specific plans or priorities for the district attorney’s race?”
Moore responded by explaining that “the district attorney’s office would be reorganized to facilitate the more effective investigation and preparation of a criminal case.” Among the specific changes he would make would be instituting Grand Jury procedures to “save time and provide for the effective presentation of child abuse cases and child molestation or sexual abuse cases with the least possible trauma to the minor child.”
The questionnaire, provided to The Daily Beast by the Democratic opposition research firm American Bridge, underscores the immense hurdle that Moore now faces in his run for the U.S. Senate seat.
Unseemly allegations have undone his attempts to tout his personal biography and his tough-on-crime agenda. At the time that he was campaigning on those pledges, Moore was allegedly pursuing young, teenage women in his personal life. Numerous women have come forward to say that they were targeted by the now Republican Senate nominee. A mall in Moore’s hometown of Gadsden reportedly banned him in the ’80s because he was known to repeatedly show up to try and pick up teenage girls.
Moore would go on to lose that ’86 race. One of the reasons why was that his opponents attacked him as unable to handle “domestic relations and child custody cases.” The attack had nothing to do with the recent reports that he was then sexually pursuing teenage girls. But, rather that he did not prioritize children in the state because he did not have a wife and kids of his own.
The Moore Senate campaign did not return a request for comment.