MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — Madison County Sheriff, Blake Dorning, says he has not and will not endorse Roy Moore, or any candidate, running for U.S. Senate to represent Alabama.
This comes in response to a press release the Moore campaign sent on Wednesday, stating that “more than a dozen Alabama Sheriffs announced their support for Judge Roy Moore in his bid for the United States Senate.”
The release listed what it called a “bi-partisan coalition of sheriffs endorsing Judge Moore”:
Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego
Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning
Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry
Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin
Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks
Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade
Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy
Henry County Sheriff William Maddox
Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin
Geneva County Sheriff Tony Helms
However, since sexual misconduct allegations came to light on Thursday through a Washington Post article that quoted several women, some sheriffs have spoken out.
Etowah County Sheriff, Todd Entrekin, released this statement withdrawing his endorsement Friday:
“I did give an endorsement for Roy Moore Wednesday, November 8th. This came before the sexual misconduct allegations came to light. I did not have prior knowledge of these allegations. I will always stand by the victim of any crime and wish the alleged wrongdoing had been reported at the time it allegedly occurred. My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected. If these allegations are proven truth, I will withdraw my endorsement.” Sheriff Todd Entrekin said.
(By the way…Sheriff Entrekin was not at the Sheriffs’ meeting where endorsements were given. His father is very sick and in the hospital.)
Roy Moore disputes the allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
In contrast with Sheriff Entrekin, Sheriff Dorning says he never gave Moore his support.
Sheriff Dorning states that rather than give his endorsement at a Wednesday press conference, he was asked to attend and stand behind Moore during an announcement.
He said he was never asked for his endorsement while he was there, and he has never publicly endorsed any candidate for office. Instead, he said Sheriff Ray Norris of Clarke County gave his support to Moore while Dorning was standing behind them.
He adds that he never intends to do so.
“I have attended events for candidates for office that I felt are good people, but have never publicly written or announced public support or endorsement of any candidate,” he stated.
Dorning further implied he has strong feelings about the term, “endorse,” calling it a “very strong word in the political world.”
He said he only stayed at the press conference with Moore, who was late to the Wednesday event, because he had given his word that he would be there.
The letter Dorning sent to WHNT News 19 is pasted below in full:
On Wednesday November 8, 2017 Captain Michael Salomonsky and myself traveled to Montgomery to a called meeting of the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association Legislative Committee, I am the appointed Chairman of this committee. On Tuesday November 7th a Mr. Rich Hobson( I believe) with Mr. Roy Moore’s campaign called my office and ask[ed] if I would attend a press conference at the meeting site that Mr. Moore had requested to speak with the Sheriffs in attendance. I told Mr. Hobson that I would definitely be in attendance at the meeting. There were 26 Alabama Sheriffs that attended the meeting. At a point during the meeting we were notified that Mr. Moore would arrive at our location at 2:30 pm. Mr. Moore’s arrival time was past 2:30 pm and many of the Sheriffs had left. I felt obligated to stay because I had given my word that I would be there. Prior to Mr. Moore’s arrival several local news crews from the area were at the location which is the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Training Center. Sheriff Ray Norris of Clarke County Alabama ask[ed] the few remaining Sheriffs if we would stand behind the speaker location, that we would not be required to say anything that he would like us to stand behind him as he introduced Mr. Moore. Sheriff Norris introduced Mr. Moore as a friend of his and pledged his support for Mr. Moore.
Mr. Moore gave a 3-5 minute speech concerning his support for Law Enforcement. After which there were several questions ask[ed] by the media to him, none of which were Law Enforcement related. Mr. Moore was appreciative to those that were there but never ask[ed] me for my endorsement or support.
I have never publicly endorsed any candidate for office and do not intend to do so. I have because of my position as Sheriff Of Madison County been ask[ed] to stand with District Attorneys, Legislators, Senators, Representatives, business owners, and organizers of non profit organizations. I have attended events for candidates for office that I felt are good people, but have never publicly written or announced public support or endorsement of any candidate.
Some of the Sheriffs listed in the article were not even at the meeting and some of those that were had to leave before the press conference afterward.
Endorse is a very strong word in the political world and I have never ask[ed] another candidate or office holder for his or her endorsement, I just ask[ed] for their vote. I have in the past and will continue to attended functions of other candidates as a courtesy to them in respect for their sacrifice to seek political office, all of which are good decent respectable citizens of our Country.