In a huge show of support, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday endorsed Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, saying "we need more people in Washington, D.C. that will stand on principle and defend the Constitution."

Paul's endorsement puts a stamp of approval on Moore's anti-Washington campaign which he rode to victory recently in a primary against Sen. Luther Strange, appointed earlier this year to replace former Sen. Jeff Sessions when he became the Attorney General.

Washington's Republican establishment, including President Trump, rallied for Strange but Moore beat him by wooing pro-Trump, anti-Washington voters. Now Trump has endorsed Moore in his race with Democrat Doug Jones.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee also endorsed Moore this week. Should Moore win, as expected, he is likely to join the conservative wing led by Paul, Lee and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and lead the party's challenges to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. During his campaign Moore has sharply criticized McConnell and was the target of negative advertising by a McConnell-backed political action committee in his primary with Strange.

In endorsing Moore, Paul said in full: "Judge Roy Moore has spent a lifetime defending and standing up for the Constitution while fighting for the people of Alabama. We need more people in Washington, D.C. that will stand on principle and defend the Constitution. I look forward to welcoming him to the Senate very soon."

Moore recently came to Washington after beating Strange. On that trip he met with Paul, Lee, and Cruz. He also met with the NRA.

A former judge, he made a name for himself by refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama Judicial Building, despite orders to do so by a federal court.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com