Democrat Doug Jones won the special election for the Alabama senate seat on Dec. 12, making him the first Democratic senator to represent the state since 1992. Jones beat his opponent, Roy Moore, Republican former Alabama chief justice, 49.9 percent to 48.4 percent with nearly 1.7 percent of the population writing in a candidate.
Jones is best known for prosecuting two members of the Klu Klux Klan who were responsible for a bombing in a Baptist church that killed four black girls in 1963. His victory has reduced the Republican majority in the senate to just a single seat, which could have a significant impact on legislation in Washington.
The special election was held to fill the senate seat that was once occupied by Jeff Sessions, who now serves as the attorney general.
Moore has been the center of national attention since a woman came forward with sexual assault allegations against Moore. According to her account, Leigh Corfman was only 14 years old when Moore, who was then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, kissed her and undressed her. Eight women in total have come forward to make allegations against Moore, saying that they were between the ages of 14 and 22 when Moore made advances toward them.
President Donald Trump had previously endorsed Moore, saying on Twitter that “we need Republican Roy Moore to win.” Trump had also told reporters that allegations against Moore were not true because Moore “says it didn’t happen” and that “you have to listen to him.”
However, after the results of the election became clear, Trump said on Twitter that he knew that Moore would “not be able to win the General Election” and that he was right when he endorsed Luther Strange in the primary elections.
Despite the loss, Moore still hasn’t conceded to Jones. In a speech made to supporters after the results were announced, Moore suggested that he may push for a recount and that he would “wait on God and let this process play out.”
Symone Sanders, a strategist for the Democratic party, told Newsweek that black women were essential to Jones’ victory.
“Black women have been absolutely clear in their support for Democratic policies and Democratic candidates,” Sanders said. “It’s high time for Democrats … to invest in that effort.”