Suddenly, the ‘Bama Senate race has gotten quite intense

Well now. I didn’t see this one coming.

A woman has accused Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore of making a sexual advance toward her when she was just 14 years of age. Moore was 32 years of age at the time … allegedly.

Oh, brother.

Moore is set to face off against Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the December special election to the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.

As if Moore didn’t have enough baggage already, given his troubled tenure as Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, now he’s got this matter with which to deal.

Republican leaders are asking Moore to quit the race — if the allegations are true. Moore isn’t owning up to anything, of course. The woman, Leigh Corfman, who’s now in her early 50s, is standing by her story.

Who’s telling the truth?

It’s not unheard of for these kinds of sexual encounters to come to light long after they occurred. When I heard of this, my mind turned immediately to the scandal that brought down former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, a Democrat who also once served as Portland mayor and was transportation secretary in the Carter administration.

Goldschmidt was accused of messing around with a girl who was babysitting his children back in the 1970s. He eventually acknowledged doing it and then resigned in disgrace from every board on which he was serving when the accusations came forth about a dozen years ago. He has vanished from public view. His picture was removed from the ring of governors at the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem.

If Moore stays in the race, the issue then becomes this: How is his opponent going to handle this one? Does he make it a campaign issue or does he let Moore’s political fortunes simmer in the heat that is sure to build as questions continue to mount?

The late Texas U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen once called politics a “contact sport.” I sense a serious collision might be about to occur down yonder in Alabama.

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