(AL.com) — Sheriffs from 13 of Alabama's 67 counties publicly endorsed Roy Moore in the special election for the U.S. Senate Thursday, saying he has a record of strongly backing law enforcement.
"With the opioid crisis we've got, church shootings, violence and crime on the rise, our budgets are in trouble in our small counties, and in our entire state our budgets are in trouble," Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris said at a press conference in Montgomery. "If we can get Judge Moore in Washington D.C. to funnel some money back our way to help us as sheriffs protect our citizens -- that's our No. 1 goal in life is protecting our citizens.
"Judge Moore will stand for what's right. He has proven that in the past. You can read any paper, watch any news show you want, if he believes in it, he stands for it. And he believes in law enforcement and he will pass laws that will help us protect the citizens of Clarke County."
Moore joined the sheriffs for the press conference after making an earlier stop today in Tuscaloosa. Moore thanked the sheriffs for their endorsement and mentioned his law enforcement background as a military police company commander in Vietnam and a deputy district attorney.
Moore said that if he's elected he would do what he could to help local law enforcement but did not mention any specifics.
Besides Norris, the sheriffs who endorsed Moore were John Samaniego of Shelby County, Blake Dorning of Madison County, Matt Gentry of Cullman County, Bill Franklin of Elmore County, Dennis Meeks of Covington County, Jody Wade of Bibb County, Jimmy Kilgore of Talladega County, Ron Abernathy of Tuscaloosa County, William Maddox of Henry County, Jeff Shaver of Cherokee County, Todd Entrekin of Etowah County and Tony Helms of Geneva County.
Republican nominee Moore faces Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election.