Three of Alabama’s largest newspapers owned by the same company on Sunday urged voters to “stand for decency” and “reject” Alabama Republican Roy Moore in the state’s Dec. 12 Senate special election.
Moore, a former state supreme court justice, has been accused of sexual misconduct *by multiple women. One of the women said Moore initiated sexual contact with her when he was a 32-year-old in a local district attorney’s office and she was just 14 years old.
The editorial appeared on the front pages of The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and The Huntsville Times, whichare owned bythe Alabama Media Group. Theeditorialis also featured at the top of the papers’ website, AL.com.
“This election has become a referendum on whether we will accept this kind of behavior from our leaders,” the editorial said, urging voters to instead support Democrat Doug Jones in next month’s election for the seat Republican Jeff Sessions vacated to serve as PresidentDonald Trump’s attorney general.
“How can we look our neighbors, our parishioners, our colleagues, our partners, or our children in the eyes and tell them they are worth less than ensuring one political party keeps a Senate seat?” it continued. “How can we expect young Alabamians to have faith in their government or their church, when its leaders equivocate on matters as clear cut as sexual abuse?”
“A vote for Roy Moore sends the worst kind of message to Alabamians struggling with abuse: ‘if you ever do tell your story, Alabama won’t believe you,’” the editorial said.
Moore, 70, has repeatedly denied the allegations, even asanother womancame forward this week and accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
“They’re not only untrue, but they have no evidence to support them,” he said at a rally on Friday.
The New York Times published a storySaturday detailing Moore’s behavior and frequent visits to a mall in Gadsden, Alabama, when he was in his 30s. The paper quoted Glenn Day, a store manager at the mall in those years, who said that a mall guard asked him to let security know whenever he saw Moore on the premises.
“I can’t believe there’s such an outcry now,” Day told the Times, “about something everybody knew.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.