As Some Vote in the GOP Runoff, Others Await Divine Inspiration

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The race is on to the fill the seat once held by Jeff Sessions. And today, one candidate will win the GOP runoff: Roy Moore, the twice-removed former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, or Luther Strange, who has held the seat since he was appointed by former Governor Robert Bentley.

At the Republian-heavy Gardendale Civic Complex, Gardendale resident Charles Waller said he and his wife went back and forth over their pick in the GOP Senate race. But even when it was a much more crowded field during the Primary, it was always between Roy Moore and Luther Strange. Waller decided on Strange after President Trump stumped for him Friday night in Huntsville.

“I haven’t really enjoyed the negative political ads, but I just had a feeling that he’s probably the better man to support the president right now,” he said.

He’s talking about the attack ads Republican leaders in Washington have launched against Roy Moore. Super PACS affiliated with Sen. Mitch McConnell have poured millions of dollars into Strange’s campaign.

Cindy Pratt of nearby Mount Olive was at the Gardendale Civic Center to walk and do some thinking.

“I have still not decided, but I do plan to vote today,” she said. “I’m still praying about it.”

She wouldn’t say who she was leaning toward. But she’ll make her pick at some point today, maybe even at very the last second.

“It may come to me as I mark my ballot, but God will let me know which way to go.”

Terrell Ragsdale voted for Roy Moore because he appreciates Moore’s Christian values. Moore believes God belongs in government, and often tells Christians voters their right to worship is under attack. Ragsdale said he wholeheartedly supports Trump. And on religion in government, he said Trump and Moore are on the same page.

“I think Trump’s bringing God back into the country and I think Roy Moore will help him even more,” he said.

Bill Hurd of Vestavia Hills had similar thoughts. He was voting at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church.

“I’m here to give my support to Judge Roy Moore,” he said. “He’s a good Christian man and I believe he’ll serve us better than the other gentleman.”

He said his son, who lives with him, also supports Roy Moore. Turnout at VHUMC was moderate; there were no lines, but there was a steady flow of voters coming in and out, even in mid-morning. Many voters there also support Roy Moore, though one told WBHM that the contentious race had “divided her family.”

Moore has been leading in every poll. The winner in today’s runoff will face Democrat Doug Jones in the December general election. Many Democrats at a rally for Jones last month were optimistic about their chances against the GOP pick, regardless of who it turns out to be. Jones overwhelmingly won the August Primary.

WBHM’s Dan Carsen contributed to this report. 


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