In a stunning setback for the Republican Party, Democrat Doug Jones was elected Alabama’s next senator on Tuesday, flipping a deeply red state after a campaign that showcased the increasing power of sexual misconduct allegations and the limits of President Trump’s political influence. Jones’s victory in a part of the Deep South that has not elected a Democratic senator since 1992 was a dramatic repudiation of his opponent, Roy Moore, a former state judge twice removed from office.
Moore responded to allegations that he made sexual advances on teenagers when he was in his 30s by describing his campaign as a “spiritual battle” against a conspiracy of Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington. “I was on the Moore bandwagon at first, years back, before you really knew what was going on with him,” said Scott Medders, 32, who voted for Jones and then attended a watch party in Gadsden, Ala., Moore’s home town. “When Jones gets there, I hope he strengthens the military and helps with the wall. But I could not vote for Moore.” After the race was called by the Associated Press, Moore declined to concede defeat, saying he believed that the margin of victory could narrow enough to trigger an automatic recount. “Realize that when the vote is this close that it’s not over,” he said. “We also know that God is always in control. READ ALSO ”Vacancy at the sleek TELEVISION: Human Resource Manager Position
The Alabama Republican Party said it would not support Moore’s push for a recount.
Secretary of State John Merrill said after Moore spoke that even though the margin of victory stood at more than 1 percent, an automatic recount could still be ordered if a review of write-in votes and military ballots narrowed the margin of victory to less than 0.5 percent.
Jones’s victory foreshadowed the head winds facing Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections, coming just a month after a historic Republican wipe out in the battleground state of Virginia. With Jones in office, Democrats will have a credible, if still difficult, path to retake control of the Senate two years into Trump’s term. READ ALSO “Cyber Security is a Global Crisis,” says Phelline Consultancy Boss, Angelline NGUI
The result could also become a factor in upcoming legislative battles, as Republicans will have one less vote in the narrowly divided Senate in 2018. Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who opposed Moore’s candidacy after the allegations emerged — has said that the GOP tax overhaul will be completed before the end of the year, when Jones is sworn into office, the impact of Tuesday’s outcome on the ongoing debate is unknown.
Merrill’s office said Tuesday that the election will be certified between Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, giving Republicans as little as two weeks to pass a federal budget and the tax legislation with their current 52-to-48 majority.
Trump tweeted his congratulations to Jones for his victory. “The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win,” Trump wrote. “The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time.” Trump won Alabama with 62 percent of the vote in 2016. He attempted to lead a late rally for Moore in the closing weeks of the election, recording a robo-call, hosting a rally in Florida near the state line and repeatedly warning Republicans to avoid electing a Democrat.