Roy Moore lags in 2020 fundraising, Doug Jones leads

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Roy Moore
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Roy Moore speaks to the media after he rode in on a horse to vote in Gallant, Ala. Moore says he’s considering a fresh run for Senate in 2020. That’s prompting national Republican leaders to signal that they’d try again to prevent their party from nominating Moore, who’s denied long-ago sexual impropriety with teenagers. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Alabama Republican Roy Moore has raised less than $17,000 for his U.S. Senate race, according to quarterly campaign reports filed this week.

The fundraising report covered only the opening few days of his campaign but show Moore is starting from a financial disadvantage in the high-profile 2020 race. He raised $16,693 between announcing his candidacy on June 20 and the June 30 close of the reporting period. He trails almost all other candidates in available cash.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jones has raised the most, according to quarterly fundraising reports. He brought in $2 million during the last fundraising quarter that covered April through June and has a campaign balance of $4.2 million.

Moore ran for the Senate seat in 2017 but lost the special election after several women accused him of sexual misconduct. Moore denied the accusations.

A crowded GOP field is competing for the right to challenge Jones in 2020.

Congressman Bradley Byrne so far tops the field in fundraising. Byrne raised nearly $700,000 last quarter and has $2.4 million on hand.

Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville raised $421,000 and loaned his campaign another $1 million.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who announced his campaign on June 25 — a few days after Moore entered the race — reported raising $217,000 in the opening days of his campaign.

Legislator Arnold Mooney raised $298,000 and businessman Stanley Adair raised $134,000. Other candidates in the race reported raising less than $1,000.

Moore has not always needed the most dollars to claim victory. A former state chief justice with a strong following among some evangelical voters, he has defeated better-funded candidates in the past including in the 2017 GOP primary for the Senate seat.

His slow fundraising start could be a sign that he is still developing a campaign structure. However, Angi Horn Stalnaker, a Republican political consultant who ran two campaigns against Moore in past election years, said it could also be a sign that his grassroots support is beginning to erode.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.