Retired Marine Col. Lee Busby, a write-in candidate in Alabama’s Senate race, said Tuesday during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he isn’t seeking to be a “spoiler” candidate and that he believes his race against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones is “winnable.” The special election is Dec. 12.
Who is Lee Busby?
Busby, 60, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, entered the Senate race Monday, arguing that neither of the state’s major-party candidates was qualified to serve as a senator.
He characterized himself as an alternative for Republicans with qualms about Moore’s candidacy or concerned about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, but also as an alternative to Jones’ liberal platform on issues such as abortion.
Busby served in Iraq following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He also worked as a defense contractor who trained soldiers in Afghanistan. He once worked as a top aide to White House chief of staff John Kelly when Kelly was a three-star lieutenant general. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013. He now sculpts portraits of military veterans.
What did Busby tell MSNBC?
Busby said Tuesday on “Morning Joe” that he entered the race because "I'm not happy with the two choices I had."
"And I normally don't have as an extreme reaction to not being happy with choices,” he continued. “But I felt like there was a lot of people in Alabama who felt like me. The more [people] I talked to, the more sense that I got that there's this huge swath in the middle that feels like they're not represented there."
Busby laughed off critics who said he is a spoiler candidate.
"I'm either a Democratic agent or a lackey of Mitch McConnell, according to most of that," Busby said.
He maintained that the race is “winnable” for him.
“My math beforehand, I think it's a slightly over 200,000-vote race," he explained. "I'm not making light of that number, it's a significant number coming in from nowhere with two weeks left, but we've picked up the media coverage already ahead of schedule and we now turn to converting that into getting people out to vote who otherwise were not going to do it."
Busby said his campaign will seek to educate voters about the write-in process.
"I do think it's doable," he continued. "I've been accused of being a spoiler, I'm not. I think I will draw from both Roy Moore supporters and Doug Jones supporters."
Busby declined to comment on the allegations that Moore pursued relationships with young girls. One accuser alleged that Moore molested her when she was just 14. Moore has claimed the allegations are fabricated.
“I hope they get it sorted out, but it's not my interest,” Busby said. “I was not a supporter [of Moore] beforehand, I don't know Roy Moore, I've never met him. But there's a sense of self-righteousness that comes out of that campaign that bothered me. And I don't think it represents the majority of Alabama voters.”
(H/T: The Hill)