CULLMAN, Alabama — The race between Judge Roy Moore and former United States Attorney Doug Jones has already been among the least traditional in Senate history, thanks to multiple pedophilia allegations against Moore.
On Sunday, as the campaign reached the bell lap before Tuesday’s voting, things got even weirder: Roy Moore was nowhere to be found.
Tom Barnes, Cullman County campaign chair for Moore, says he can solve the mystery. “Roy is at the Army-Navy game [Saturday in Philadelphia] to see his son. So that’s where he was yesterday,” Barnes told VICE News Saturday in an interview at the makeshift Cullman County Moore headquarters. “Family comes before politics with Roy.”
Barnes is an old Moore friend and fellow West Point alumnus. He says he texts with Moore often and that the two are close, though Barnes was uncertain whether Moore watched the game from inside the stadium or at his hotel due to security concerns. Rich Hobson, Moore’s campaign manager, repeatedly declined to confirm Barnes’ story when reached by VICE News Saturday. When asked if he denied it, he said, “I have no comment.”
Other campaign officials did not respond to requests for comment from VICE News.
Moore’s son Micah attends West Point. On Saturday, Moore’s Facebook account posted a generic message about the big game, which pits two of the nation’s military academies against each other for the coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
Moore’s whereabouts have become a significant subplot in the Senate race’s final days. The Montgomery Advertiser published a big story on Moore’s absence from the campaign trail, and Democratic nominee Doug Jones attacked Moore for “hiding” during his campaign stops Saturday. On Sunday, officials at Moore’s home church in Gallant reportedly said Moore would not attend services.
According to Hobson, Moore’s campaign manager, the Republican will be appearing at a rally Monday night in Midland with Steve Bannon and Congressman Louis Gohmert of Texas.