Doug Jones, who was made famous by prosecuting two former Ku Klux Klan members, has made history by becoming the first Democrat in 25 years to win a US Senate seat for Alabama.
Senator-elect Jones was behind in the polls by double digits just weeks ago and his election to the Senate comes as a surprise for Republican Roy Moore. Mr Moore, a fierce advocate of far-right politics, faced allegations from three women stating that he sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. At this stage, Mr Moore has refused to concede defeat, saying “it’s not over.”
The Democrat’s win in Alabama presents an issue for President Donald Trump, as the Republican majority in the Senate has dropped to 51-49, which may now improve the Democrat’s chances of re-gaining control in the Senate in the 2018 mid-term elections. However, the Senate seat is not likely to be vacant until early January, which will give the Republican’s time to pass its tax-cut bill and any year-end budgetary resolutions.
President Trump, who threw significant weight behind Mr Moore, offered some measured congratulations to Doug Jones:
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 December 2017
Senator-elect Jones celebrated winning his Senate seat on his 25th wedding anniversary said that he felt overwhelmed by the result.
Thank you ALABAMA!!
— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) December 13, 2017