Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in
contentious Alabama Senate election

By Robert Schroeder | Market Watch | December 12, 2017

Doug Jones speaks to reporters after voting at Brookwood Baptist Church on Tuesday in Mountain Brook, Alabama.
Doug Jones speaks to reporters after voting at Brookwood Baptist Church on Tuesday in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama's U.S. Senate election Tuesday night, defeating the controversial Republican Roy Moore and dealing a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Jones, against whom Trump had railed in recent days, was projected the winner of the special election shortly before 10:30 p.m. Eastern by multiple news organizations.

Jones, a 63-year-old former U.S. attorney, becomes the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama since 1992. He tweeted "Thank you ALABAMA!!" shortly after the race was called.

"We have come so far and the people of Alabama have spoken," Jones told his supporters after declaring victory. "This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and about making sure no matter what ZIP code you live in in this state you get a fair shake."

Trump's 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton quickly chimed in on Twitter: "If Democrats can win in Alabama, we can and must compete everywhere."

Moore has faced allegations of sexual misconduct, which date back to when he was in his 30s and some of the women accusing him were in their teens. Moore, a former Alabama chief justice, is now 70.

Trump tweeted support for Moore on Tuesday, saying the Republican "will always vote with us."

Jones's victory will shrink the Republican Senate majority to 51-49. That will make it harder to pass major pieces of legislation.

Jones will take the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sen. Luther Strange, a Republican, was appointed to the seat after Trump picked Sessions to run the Justice Department. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Strange will remain in his seat until the end of the session this year. Republicans are aiming to pass their tax overhaul by the end of the year.