Wounded by allegations of sexual misconduct, Alabama Republican Roy Moore is embracing his role as outsider in the Alabama race for U.S. Senate.
Speaking at a Tuesday night rally in south Alabama, Moore says establishment Republicans "don't want me" in Washington. He is promising an enthusiastic crowd that he will be a supporter of President Donald Trump's agenda.
Moore is not mentioning the allegations against him, but is calling the election a "spiritual battle."
The former judge, known for religious-themed politics, is using social issues to rally the crowd, criticizing legalized abortion and the presence of transgender individuals serving in the military.
Moore says he "can't wait" to take "Alabama values to Washington, D.C."
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon, rallying support for embattled Republican Roy Moore, called the Alabama Senate race a referendum on the Trump agenda.
Bannon visited the state Tuesday night to support the Republican Senate candidate who faces allegations of sexual misconduct with teens years ago.
Taking the stage to prolonged applause at an Alabama rally, Bannon said establishment Republicans, and now Democrats, are trying to stop Moore's climb to the U.S. Senate.
Bannon told the cheering crowd that establishment Republicans, "think you are a bunch of rubes" and urged them to be "the voice of the deplorables."
Bannon lashed out at Democrat Doug Jones, saying a vote for him is a vote for the "Clinton agenda."
A demonstrator briefly interrupted Bannon's speech with shouts of "No Moore."
The Republican National Committee has transferred $170,000 to the Alabama Republican Party to bolster embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore.
An RNC official tells The Associated Press it made two transfers to the state party Tuesday: one for $50,000 and another for $120,000.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the transfers by name.
The move is a reversal for the RNC. The party had pulled its support after Moore was hit with accusations of sexual misconduct.
But President Donald Trump on Monday formally threw his support behind Moore and the RNC said it would follow suit.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel last month called the allegations against Moore sufficiently "concerning" to warrant the RNC to sever financial ties.
- Jill Colvin in Washington
Alabama's secretary of state is asking election officials to check sample ballots ahead of the U.S. Senate race after someone vandalized about a dozen in one county and pre-marked them for Democrat Doug Jones.
Secretary of State John Merrill says 10 to 15 sample ballots had been marked for Jones in Bullock County.
The sample ballots are available to voters to show them what the ballot will look like on Election Day.
Merrill says he investigated after receiving a complaint from the Republican Roy Moore's campaign. Merrill says the vandalized ballots were removed. He is asking other probate judges to check their sample ballots to ensure it was not a widespread issue.
Moore and Jones face each other in the Dec. 12 vote.
About three dozen demonstrators are protesting outside a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore that's being headlined by former White House adviser Steve Bannon.
The group - mostly women - is carrying "No Moore" signs and chanting, "We want a senator, not a predator."
Many in the group are dressed in costumes from Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale," in which women are powerless. They say it demonstrates the silencing of the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct.
Law enforcement officers told them to leave the private event venue and led them to a spot beside a nearby public road.
Susan Taylor of Fairhope, one of the demonstrators dressed as a handmaid, says Moore does not represent the state she knows.
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake is showing his opposition to Republican Roy Moore's candidacy for Alabama Senate by donating to the campaign of Moore's Democratic opponent.
Flake tweeted a picture of a $100 check from him to Doug Jones' campaign Tuesday. In the memo it said, "Country over Party."
Other Republicans in Washington have also come out against Moore over accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, but he has strong support from state Republicans.
Two women have accused the 70-year-old Moore of sexually assaulting or molesting them decades ago, when they were 14 and 16 and he was in his 30s. At least five other women have said he pursued romantic relationships with them around the same time, when they were teenagers.
He has denied the allegations and called the women liars.
The top Republican in the Senate says if Alabama candidate Roy Moore is elected, he would "immediately have an issue with the Ethics Committee" over allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers decades ago.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that the 70-year-old Moore would have to be sworn in if he wins the Dec. 12 special election, based on the 1969 Supreme Court ruling involving Democratic New York Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
The House had refused to seat Powell after allegations of personal and financial misconduct. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor, saying the House acted unconstitutionally by not seating him.
Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in the special election. National Republicans have said he should step aside, but he has strong support from state Republicans.
Roy Moore's Democratic opponent in the Alabama Senate race says he did his part as a prosecutor to ensure that "men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the United States Senate."
Doug Jones told supporters Tuesday in Birmingham that the Republican Moore is an embarrassment to the state.
Jones says it's "crystal clear" that Moore's accusers are telling the truth when they say Moore made improper sexual advances against them when they were teens and he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s. The now-70-year-old Moore says his accusers are lying.
Jones' comments came hours before a Moore rally in Alabama with former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
The special election to fill the seat once held by Republican Jeff Sessions is Dec. 12.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.