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Hoeven says Moore should drop out of race, but declines to 'speculate' on potential expulsion

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., reviews details of an omnibus budget plan passed by Congress during a 2014 meeting. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

BISMARCK — Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore should bow out of the race amid mounting accusations of sexual misconduct, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Tuesday, Nov. 14.

But Hoeven declined to comment on a top Republican campaign official's call for Moore to be booted from the Senate if he wins the election next month.

"I believe Roy Moore should step aside but the people of Alabama will ultimately make the decision," Hoeven said in a statement. "I'm not going to speculate beyond that as the election hasn't occurred yet."

Last week, Hoeven said Moore should step down if the allegations against him were true.

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, said Monday the Senate should vote to expel Moore if he wins the race because "he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate."

The Washington Post reported last week that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other older teenagers when he was in his early 30s. On Monday, another woman accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.

Moore, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, has denied any sexual misconduct.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Tuesday the allegations against Moore are credible and he should step aside. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., agreed that Moore's accusers "seem entirely credible" and it would be best for the party and Alabama if he left the race.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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