Alabama has rejected homophobic, bigoted Judge Roy Moore, whose campaign had been dogged by allegations of child molestation, in the state’s special election for the Senate.
Democrat Doug Jones bested the Republican contender in a stunning, nail-biting upset, securing 49.6% of the vote to Roy Moore’s 48.8% (at the time of this report).
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2017
It represents a stunning upset in the overwhelmingly conservative and Republican state, which voted for Donald Trump — who publicly backed and campaigned for Moore — by an almost two-to-one margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Moore was best by numerous scandals during his campaign, including multiple allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and revelations that he allegedly dated teenage girls — including a 14-year-old — while he was in his 30s.
With a history of homophobia and racist comments, Moore would have no doubt continued his legacy of anti-LGBTQ and anti-minority politics in the Senate, had he won.
By comparison, Senator-elect Doug Jones is known for prosecuting Ku Klux Klan members who bombed the 16th Street Church, secured an indictment against the Olympic Park Bomber, and supports stronger protections of civil rights.
In his victory speech, Jones alluded to Moore’s beleaguered campaign.
“At the end of the day, this — this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign — this campaign has been about the rule of law,” Jones said. “This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which zip code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life.”
Noting the historic nature of his win, Jones said he was “truly, truly overwhelmed.”
“You have all heard me say this at one point or another in this campaign, I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us,” Jones added. “We have shown not just around the state of Alabama but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified.”
HRC President Chad Griffin called Doug Jones’ win “monumental,” and said Alabamans had proven that “demonizing the LGBTQ community is a sure-fire way to get yourself beat on Election Day.”
“Tonight, in rejecting avowed bigot Roy Moore, Alabama voters solidified once and for all that attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community is a sure-fire way to get yourself beat on Election Day,” Griffin said in a statement. “Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama is monumental, and was made possible by the overwhelming and unprecedented, grassroots resistance of ordinary Alabamians against the politics of hate and division. From our victories in North Carolina, Virginia, and now in Alabama, Equality Voters have proven that LGBTQ people and our allies are a voting bloc to be respected, sought-after and feared by candidates on both sides of the aisle. The American people will no longer tolerate discrimination against their family, friends and neighbors.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Alabama made clear that “Roy Moore’s personal values around sexual assaults, racism, and anti-LGBTQ hate do not align with American values.”
“The people of Alabama have spoken and made it known that Roy Moore’s personal values around sexual assaults, racism, and anti-LGBTQ hate do not align with American values,” Ellis said. “Tonight’s results are a victory in the ongoing fight to uplift and support survivors of sexual assault, LGBTQ people, people of color, and other marginalized communities who are sick of seeing their humanity debated. Moore’s loss is also a strong signal that Americans want better than President Trump and elected officials like him who aim to divide and discriminate, rather than unite.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez said Jones had “made history,” becoming Alabama’s first Democratic senator since Howell Heflin left office in 1997.
“This election wasn’t about right versus left, it was about right versus wrong,” Perez said. “The people of Alabama sent a loud and clear message to Donald Trump and the Republican Party: you can’t call yourself the party of family values as long as you’re willing to accept vile men like Roy Moore as members.
“But Alabama voters didn’t just reject Roy Moore, they embraced Doug Jones and the Democratic Party’s vision for a brighter future. They joined millions of voters across the country who are standing up to Donald Trump and the GOP’s radical agenda by making their voices heard and electing Democrats up and down the ballot.”
President Trump, who supported Moore’s opponent in the Republican primary but ultimately supported Moore’s campaign, tweeted his congratulations to Jones, noting the “write-in votes” but acknowledging “a win is a win.”
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) December 13, 2017
As fun additional fact, not only did Doug Jones best Roy Moore on December 12, he also celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary:
“Today has always been a special day, today is mine and Louise’s 25th wedding anniversary”
Doug Jones pic.twitter.com/jg2TIwRUkz
— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) December 13, 2017
This is a developing story…
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!