The results are in and Doug Jones won the special senate election in Alabama to assume Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat in the United States Senate.
Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore, becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama since 2008.
With 100% of the vote in, Jones won the election with 49.9% of the vote.
In September, Moore defeated incumbent Luther Strange in the Republican primary runoff. Former Governor Robert J. Bentley nominated Strange to fill Sessions’ seat until the election.
Moore won 54.6% of the vote, despite endorsements for Strange from major Republican players like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.
Moore’s victory today seemed inevitable in the staunchly red state as a far-right conservative until a Washington Post report on 9 November.
In the investigative article, four women accused Moore of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. New accusations and developments dominated the news cycle through the remainder of the election.
Jones’ victory suddenly seemed like a real possibility.
However, Moore’s numbers bounced back and polls leading up to election day were all over the place. This, combined with Alabama’s strict voting laws that disproportionately target people of color, made the election a nail-biter until the end.
Jones will sway the Senate
Jones, best known as a prosecutor who successfully led a case against two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls, was a major win for Democrats.
With Jones’ win, Republicans now only have 51 seats in the Senate. This gives them only a one vote majority in any legislation.
This also makes Democrats’ hopes of taking back the Senate completely in next year’s midterms election much more realistic. They now only need to flip two seats (at the very least) in order to gain a majority.
A Senator to be proud of
GSN spoke to Equality Alabama about the close race.
‘Doug Jones’ win in today’s special election proves that support for equality wins over radical, hateful rhetoric,’ they said.
‘We finally have a senator who we can be proud of, and Equality Alabama is excited to work with Senator-elect Jones to advance equality in Alabama and across the United States.’