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Ducey: Moore should be out of Senate race amid sex misconduct claims

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday that Alabama should replace Senate candidate Roy Moore after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

“I’d like to see a different candidate, but you understand how our system works and this is up to the people of Alabama,” Ducey told media while passing out Thanksgiving meals at a Phoenix-area food bank.

Several women have claimed Moore had unwanted sexual contact with them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. At least one claimed Moore attacked her.

“I have said, when women step forward with these allegations, it’s my experience that there is truth there,” Ducey said. “This was bad behavior 40 years ago. This is bad behavior today.

“If I was in the private sector, I’d terminate this guy.”

It was unclear who could step in for the former judge at such a late hour — the special election was scheduled for Dec. 12 and his name will appear on the ballot regardless if he steps down.

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange said it was “highly unlikely” he would launch a write-in candidacy to retain his Senate seat despite the scandal.

“Let the facts unfold,” he said. “I think right now, a write-in candidacy is highly unlikely.”

Numerous politicians have called for Moore to leave the race.

Sen. John McCain called the allegations “deeply disturbing and disqualifying” in a two-sentence statement.

“[Moore] should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of,” the statement said.

Sen. Jeff Flake echoed McCain’s statement, saying Moore should likely remove himself from the race.

“If there is any shred of truth to these stories, he ought to step aside — and now,” he told media, later adding that he would rather vote for a Democrat than Moore.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan also said Moore should step aside if the allegations were true.

Moore has denied the claims and branded them as fake news and a witch hunt.

He has gotten the support of several key Republicans, however. President Donald Trump said he believed him on Tuesday.

“Roy Moore denies it, that’s all I can say,” Trump said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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