John Kelly's former top aide plans to launch a write-in campaign in Alabama against Roy Moore

  • A former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to launch a write-in campaign for Alabama's Senate seat.
  • Lee Busby, a 60-year-old retired Marine colonel from Tuscaloosa, said that he saw a route for a centrist candidate.
  • Busby believes both Doug Jones and Roy Moore are not qualified for the office.


With a little over two weeks before Alabamans vote for a new senator, a former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to launch a write-in campaign for the seat.

Lee Busby, a 60-year-old retired Marine colonel from Tuscaloosa, told The Washington Post that he saw a route for a centrist candidate to win the seat being contested by Democratic candidate Doug Jones and Republican candidate Roy Moore — the latter of whom has been accused of extensive sexual misconduct.

"I think you can flip this thing," he said. "If this were a military operation, the left flank and the right flank are heavily guarded. I think that gives you an opportunity to run straight up the middle."

Busby believes both Jones and Moore are not qualified for the office and that while he wasn't certain of the truth of the accusations against Moore, they had "created enough distaste in my mind." Republicans have resisted a write-in campaign, believing it could split the GOP vote and help Jones, but Busby told The Post he thought he could attract supporters of both Moore and Jones.

20 PHOTOS
Women share photos of themselves at age 14 in response to Roy Moore allegations
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Women share photos of themselves at age 14 in response to Roy Moore allegations
I was eating a lot of chocolate chip cookie dough and learning to do the “hustle” and not worrying about a 32 year… https://t.co/A4MDPdG9w7
This was me at 14. l had plants in my room with names for them and l drew pictures of my beagle Cookie. l was in Th… https://t.co/Nf8i3ozSV5
#MeAt14 I worshipped my brother. I loved my dog, Pucci. I loved OMD. I had Big hair. I was happy. I was innocent.… https://t.co/UxkncAWzz5
@lizzwinstead lizz i was actually 15 in this pic .. but pregnant at 14. it took me decades to realize the most of t… https://t.co/gwBuIuM1zc
There is something seriously wrong with anyone who thinks 14 is old enough to consent. #MeAt14 https://t.co/rfPnuwLWL1
When you're in your 30's, luring a vulnerable 14-year-old to your house is not "dating." #sexualpredator This is… https://t.co/4AmD01ktb7
#MeAt14 shouldn't have been allowed to pick out my own clothes, definitely not old enough to consent to being grope… https://t.co/RqQD9pbNvC
Can’t consent at 14. Not in Alabama. Not anywhere. #MeAt14 https://t.co/AFUw1Ru4X2
This is me at 14. I wasn’t dating a 32 year old male. I was riding horses, playing basketball, and trying to surviv… https://t.co/kH5Za1TB2m
This is me at 14. I was on the gymnastics team and sang in the choir. I was not dating a 32 year old man. Who were… https://t.co/q27izzub36
This is #MeAt14 Wish I could say I had never been kissed.But when I was 11 @ friends slumber party, n outdoor hide&… https://t.co/I2rjy1mBgj
This girl was a dreamer w/ambitions of becoming a marine biologist & someday meeting David Bowie. This girl became… https://t.co/0ub1xO1A3S
This is me at 14, a shy and innocent bookworm. No way is a 14-yr-old developmentally prepared to date a 32-yr-old m… https://t.co/zdb79nPnDt
#MeAt14 Here's a diary entry about the time I started crying at a dance because I was scared of dancing with boys.… https://t.co/McRbxyBRKM
Can’t consent at 14. Not in Alabama. Not anywhere. #MeAt14 https://t.co/4V51WZJljC
@lizzwinstead I played clarinet, obsessively read "Interview with the Vampire", and memorized hockey stats for fun.… https://t.co/xC2ELLqRjM
This is #MeAt14. I had a B in Algebra and I hated getting my braces tightened. I wasn’t dating 32-year-old men. https://t.co/4Yb6AKML4M
This is me at 14. I was in a production of Guys and Dolls. Here we're singing "Bushel and a Peck." I was not dating… https://t.co/VUARYBVgqO
This is me at 14. I wasn’t dating a 32 year old male. I was riding horses, playing basketball, and trying to surviv… https://t.co/kH5Za1TB2m
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Busby said he supports efforts to lower taxes, wants to repeal Obamacare, and believes life begins at conception (though he supports exceptions for abortions in some cases).

Busby served as a Marine officer in Iraq and later trained soldiers as a defense contractor in Afghanistan. Before retiring in 2013, he was vice chief of staff for Kelly when the latter was a three-star Marine Corps general in charge of that service branch's reserve.

He said he plans to run as an independent, touting his past as a military officer, investment banker, and entrepreneur.

Busby — who said he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 Republican primary and for President Donald Trump in the general election — said he had not spoken to Kelly about running, but may do so if his campaign looks promising.

15 PHOTOS
Lawmakers react to Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations
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Lawmakers react to Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, according to a Washington Post report.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and all… https://t.co/MXrceCZZ9a
If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.
JUST NOW: @lisamurkowski on WaPo Report on Roy Moore: “I’m horrified and if it’s true he should step down immediately.”
If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.
Look, I'm sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore's nomination was a bridge too far.
The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness fo… https://t.co/EQcUEpHRKH
Ted Cruz: Roy Moore allegations "serious and troubling," should "immediately withdraw" if true… https://t.co/XuW33Chx5j
NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner: “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out.” https://t.co/y4UEOJmZWa
Portman says Moore should drop out of the race if the Moore reports are true, says he has “no reason to doubt”… https://t.co/mOhGuTl2d9
I've long opposed Roy Moore & his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office. The GOP mus… https://t.co/8rpkIH3FkX
I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.
Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I… https://t.co/cuO0MkNxVJ
I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not… https://t.co/OQDdcvO3fX
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He has yet to set up a formal campaign, telling The Post he spent the weekend after Thanksgiving working on a logo and looking into campaign-fundraising requirements.

In Alabama, votes for write-in candidates count as long as the candidate is a living person otherwise eligible for office. The special election will take place on December 12.

NOW WATCH: An Alabama high school 'resegregated' after years of being a model of integration — here's what happened after

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SEE ALSO: John Kelly reportedly pressured the Homeland Security chief to end Honduran immigrants' protected status

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