With 15 Days to Go, Retired Marine Joins Ala. Senate Race

Lee Busby used to work for WH Chief of Staff John Kelly
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2017 3:39 PM CST
Marine-Turned-Sculptor Entering Alabama Senate Race
Retired Marine Col. Lee Busby checks the image of Mark Forester he sculpted outside the University of Alabama Foundry in Tuscaloosa, Ala.   (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

He didn't have a functioning website as of Monday morning, but a retired Marine colonel thinks things are such a mess in the Alabama Senate race he has a shot. With just 15 days before voters go to the polls (his now-working website has a giant countdown), Lee Busby announced his write-in candidacy. The 60-year-old, a former vice chief of staff to John Kelly when the now-White House chief of staff oversaw the Marine Forces Reserve, says he believes the recent controversy surrounding Republican candidate Roy Moore has opened the door for a centrist to run and win. "If this were a military operation, the left flank and the right flank are heavily guarded. I think that gives you an opportunity to run straight up the middle," Busby tells the Washington Post.

Since retiring from the Marine Corps in 2013, Busby has focused on sculpting busts of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Busby, who says he voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and supports repealing ObamaCare, will run as an independent write-in candidate, something Republicans in Washington have been both dreaming about and dreading ever since Moore was first accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with teenage girls. Busby says the accusations against Moore have "created enough distaste" in his mind to disqualify him, but he also said of Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, "The people of Alabama are not going to be represented by someone who supports a liberal abortion policy." Adding to Moore's rough Monday, a White House official told the AP that the president will not be campaigning on the candidate's behalf. (More Alabama stories.)

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