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"Ten Commandments" Judge Joins GOP Race

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Crews remove a Ten Commandments monument from an Alabama courthouse in 2003 after judge Roy Moore was stripped of his position for refusing to take down the statue. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Add another name to the growing list of Republican presidential candidates: so called "Ten Commandments" judge Roy Moore.

The former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice said in an Iowa radio station interview Monday he is exploring a bid for the 2012 GOP nomination for president, to fill what he sees as a void of constitutional scholarship among elected officials and return family values to the forefront of American politics.

"Why I am testing the waters. Because I believe in America and in the American people. We can again be ONE NATION UNDER GOD with liberty and justice for all and bring a real, positive change to our government. Together, we shall become as former President Ronald Reagan so often remarked, a ‘shining city on a hill' [emphases as original]," Moore writes in a statement on his exploratory website.

Moore made his announcement at a stop on a six-day tour of Iowa, and he's picked up a key political operative in the early voting state. Danny Carroll, who helped shepherd former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, is organizing Moore's efforts in that state.

Judge Moore made headlines in 2000 when he erected a display of the Ten Commandments outside his state courthouse. A judicial ethics panel removed Moore from his post in 2003 after he refused to follow a federal court order to remove the religious display.

Moore ran unsuccessful bids for Alabama governor in 2006 and 2010, which he dismisses as learning experiences. "You don't know many politicians that have not lost an election," he told the Des Moines Register. "In fact, one of the founders of the Republican party, Abraham Lincoln, lost many elections."

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