NewsPublic Affairs / November 29, 2017

Why Is An Indiana Political Group Supporting An Alabama Senator?

The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics director says there are benefits to be had by supporting high profile campaigns. Indiana First, Roy Moore2017-11-29T00:00:00-05:00
Article origination IPBS-RJC
Why Is An Indiana Political Group Supporting An Alabama Senator?

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a news conference, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

A grassroots conservative political action group – Indiana First – is supporting Republican candidate Roy Moore in his Alabama senate race. Many called for him to leave the race after he was accused of pursuing and participating in sexual relationships with underaged women.

Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, says Indiana First may benefit from attaching themselves to a high-profile race like Moore’s.

“There is a reason that an organization might choose to endorse a high-profile campaign,” Downs says. “They can then use that as a way to raise money for themselves.”

Indiana First spokesman Caleb Shumaker says the group doesn’t have anything to gain by supporting Moore in Alabama. He says it’s simply supporting their cause.

“We show that we’re going to stand with conservatives, that we’re dedicated to the conservative movement and that we’re going to promote conservatives,” Shumaker says.

Indiana First has pledged to be involved in Indiana’s primary elections for Luke Messer and Todd Rokita’s vacated seats, which is in line with recent trends in both parties, Downs says.

“Whether or not the fact that they have endorsed Roy Moore will have an effect on those primaries I think [is] going to have to be looked at on a primary-by-primary basis,” Downs says.

Shumaker calls the group “pro-Trump agenda.” Pointing to the Alabama primary, he criticized “establishment” Republicans for supporting Luther Strange.

“Conservatives backed Roy Moore,” Shumaker says. “Our goal is to see Roy Moore be a voice in D.C., for Alabama.”

President Donald Trump campaigned for Strange in Alabama in late September.

The Alabama special election is on Dec. 12.



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