Roy Moore campaign manager seeks Alabama congressional seat

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, Rich Hobson, left, speaks to the crowd at a U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore rally in Fairhope, Ala. Rich Hobson announced Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, that he is running as a Republican for the 2nd District congressional seat now held by Rep. Martha Roby. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Brynn Anderson

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The campaign manager and longtime ally of failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress in Alabama.

In an announcement on the Alabama Capitol steps, Rich Hobson said that he is running as a Republican for the 2nd District congressional seat now held by Republican Rep. Martha Roby.

"I'm running because our nation is at a crucial time in history. I want to make sure we preserve a safe, prosperous and moral America for our children and our grandchildren," Hobson said.

Hobson, 56, described himself as a candidate in step with Moore as well as President Donald Trump.

Moore narrowly lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones in November amid accusations of sexual misconduct involving Moore and teens decades ago. Moore has denied the misconduct allegations, but did not wholly rule out dating teens when he was a prosecutor in his 30s.

Hobson defended Moore on Wednesday. He called Moore's defeat a "political assassination" by the "liberal elite."

In addition to managing Moore's Senate campaign, Hobson twice served as Alabama's administrative director of courts while Moore was chief justice. Hobson lost his job each of the two times that Moore was removed from chief justice duties for thwarting court orders to allow same-sex marriages and remove a public display of the Ten Commandments from his courthouse.

"I walked with Chief Justice Roy Moore twice when he was attacked for standing for our values and I paid the price," Hobson said.

Hobson said his priorities include "rebuilding our military," repealing President Barack Obama's health overhaul law and building a border wall with Mexico — the very same promises Trump made during his presidential campaign.

Hobson's announcement came on the same day that Jones was sworn in.

Roby is also being challenged by state Rep. Barry Moore, also a Republican.

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