Controversial former White House aide Sebastian Gorka is heading to Alabama to co-headline a rally for former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R), pitting him against his old boss in a closely watched Senate race.
Gorka will join former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) for a Thursday rally for Moore just days ahead of a primary against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), the establishment candidate in the race, TPM confirms.
Just two days later, President Trump will hold a rally for Strange, who also has the strong backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to help out Strange in the race’s final days.
The dueling rallies are the culmination of a burbling split in the party — one that’s not breaking down along the expected lines. Trump has been convinced by Senate Republicans to help Strange, a reliable vote for the president’s agenda, over Moore, a more outsider-fueled, rabble-rousing lightning rod closer to Trump’s own mold.
Every poll of the race has found Moore ahead, but many show Strange within striking distance. Trump’s high-profile support could be the difference-maker in a state where Republicans still love him.
The support of the lesser-known Gorka, who was pushed out of his White House job in August, is less of an obvious boost — but he’s just one of many Trump allies who has split with the president on this race, including Gorka’s close associate Steve Bannon.