Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has rejected the idea that Sen. Luther Strange could resign his Senate seat, sparking a new special election and potentially blocking Roy Moore from being elected to the Senate.
National Republican leaders have called on Moore to step aside as the GOP nominee following allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Politico reported Wednesday that one idea GOP leaders have contemplated is having Strange resign his seat so Ivey could set a new special election. Strange was appointed to the seat in February when Sen. Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general.
Ivey, the first female Republican governor of Alabama, rejected that in a Wednesday night interview with AL.com.
“The election date is set for Dec. 12,” she said. “Were [Strange] to resign I would simply appoint somebody to fill the remaining time until we have the election on Dec. 12.”
Strange told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday that he did not intend to resign his seat early. He will serve until the new senator is sworn in.
On becoming governor in April, Ivey moved the Senate special election to this year. Former Gov. Robert Bentley had previously scheduled the election to coincide with the 2018 midterms. Bentley, who appointed Strange, later resigned amid scandal and faced charges for using state resources to cover up an extramarital affair.
Ivey’s statement highlights the increasingly limited options facing Senate Republicans who do not want Moore to become a U.S. senator. The former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who beat Strange in the GOP primary, will face Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 election.
Recent allegations of sexual misconduct have rocked the race. Over the past week, nine women have come forward saying Moore made sexual and romantic advances, most while they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s. Three have accused him of sexual assault, two of whom were teenagers at the time.
Moore has denied any wrongdoing and says he will stay in the race.
Watch: Which Lawmakers Are Pushing Moore to Drop His Senate Bid?