Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is commanding the lead in the race to occupy the seat of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
According to internal polling by Moore's opponents, the staunchly Christian judge is the current favorite to win the August 15 Republican primary.
Moore leads a crowded Republican field, outpacing his nearest rival by eight percentage points.
In 2016, Moore was suspended from his position a second time for upholding the sanctity of traditional marriage, refusing to apply the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 gay marriage ruling.
Those on the left have slammed Moore for his Christian convictions. Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen branded him the "Ayatollah of Alabama."
Strange, Moore's nearest rival, currently occupies Sessions' former Senate seat. But Strange has been hurt by his connection to former Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, who resigned in disgrace in April. Bentley appointed Strange to the seat while under investigation for corruption — an investigation Strange was overseeing.
Still, the Senate Leadership Fund has chosen to back Strange, and last week, the Republican National Committee granted approval for $350,000 to be spent on the Alabama race in a move likely to benefit Strange's campaign.
Moore, however, remains undaunted. On Thursday, he tweeted, "I'm running for the U.S. Senate because I have what virtually our entire federal government lacks — Conservative values. It's time we restore our country to the principles it was founded upon. We need leaders to step up and take a stand against out-of-control, big government. When I get to the Senate, I'll do just that."
Thursday, Moore's campaign was propelled by an endorsement from former Alabama All-SEC running back Siran Stacy. "The hopelessness is over for America," Stacy announced. "God is raising up generals all over this great nation and he's raising up one specially in Alabama. I'm honored to be a part of Judge Moore's team."
In an interview with AL.com, Stacy expressed hope that as senator, Moore would help reverse negative trends.
"I believe Judge Roy Moore is going to put people to work again," he said, "and stand for strong morals that have declined. We need our morality back in the state of Alabama."