Alabama resident Kim Dowdle is a staunch Republican who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and still supports the president.
The 43-year-old, who says she has never voted for a Democrat before, will cast her ballot for Democrat Doug Jones on December 12 instead of the Republican candidate, Roy Moore.
Dowdle told ThinkProgress that the decision to vote for the Democratic candidate did not come easy for her.
It was only after reading The Washington Post report detailing four women’s accounts of being sexually assaulted by Roy Moore as teenage girls that she said she made up her mind.
The stories struck close to home for Dowdle. When she was 16, she went on a date with her then-boyfriend to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
The college-aged man took her to dinner and then a movie, but she ended up at his house after they arrived late to the theater. She remembers that he brought her a Dr. Pepper and the next thing she knew, she felt dizzy and had to lie down. It wasn’t until later, after she woke up undressed and covered with blood and after her parents rushed her to the emergency room, that she learned he had penetrated her with a double-edge knife, barely missing her organs, and then raped her. She spent nine weeks in a coma and roughly three months in the hospital.
Dowdle said hypnotherapy and her faith helped her to both remember and then process the attack. She considers herself a strong Christian and supported Moore for his values when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from outside the courthouse. But when she learned of the accusations against him from young women, she knew she could no longer support him.
“I have labored over the decision to not vote for a Republican, to not vote for Roy Moore, to not vote for the man who stands for all Christian beliefs supposedly,” Dowdle told ThinkProgress. “It is not a lighthearted decision I’m making. I am voting Doug Jones because I’m a Christian and because I’m a Republican.”
Dowdle met face-to-face with Jones and his wife since making her decision to support him.
She says the meeting made her realize how much she shares with Jones, who, like her, is a parent who loves Alabama and hunting.
Dowdle says a friend recently called her a “disgrace to the [Republican] Party” over her support for Jones.
When asked why she was still able to support Trump in 2016 despite the more than a dozen women who accused him of assault, she explains that Trump “didn’t hide behind religion.”
“He’s not signing bibles in red ink with autographs,” she said. “Roy Moore is, and that’s blasphemy. I don’t know how women are voting for him to be honest. I don’t know how Christian women are voting for him.”
“I can’t imagine anyone with any morals voting for him,” she continued.
ThinkProgress also spoke to a Birmingham-area man who started the “Republicans for Jones” Facebook page.
The registered Republican, who asked not to be identified because of fears of retaliation at his workplace, told his son that if Moore wins the nomination, he will vote for Jones.
“That night, I told him: ‘I’m so disgusted by what Roy Moore represents, I can do one better,’” he remembers. “That night I created the Facebook page and invited a handful of friends who were in the same thought process as I was and it got shared and shared and shared from there.”
His Facebook page currently has more than 1,700 followers.
“I don’t agree with everything Jones stands for but in a country of 320 million people, who does?” Michael, who voted for Trump last year, told ThinkProgress.