Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones on Thursday called on his Republican opponent to concede the results of last Tuesday’s special election for the benefit of Alabamians, telling NBC’s “Today” show that it is time to “get this behind us.”
“Well, I understand the frustration a little bit. It is a close race. But I'd say, look, it’s time to move on. I mean this is – every race is tough. It's bitter sometimes. I think this one was one that people of Alabama have now spoken a little bit, and they decided to heal,” Jones said Thursday morning. “Our campaign has been about that. It's been about trying to find common ground and heal. And I think he would do well to just go ahead, let's get this behind us, so the people of Alabama can get someone in there and start working for them.”
Jones was declared the winner in Tuesday’s special election, besting Republican Roy Moore by 1.5 percentage points, or just under 21,000 votes. But Moore has thus far been unwilling to concede, releasing a video on his campaign’s YouTube account overnight insisting that “we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots” and that “we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.”
Jones said Thursday that while he understood the emotions of a close, hard-fought race, “there's no doubt in my mind” about the results.
Jones, the first Democrat elected to the Senate by Alabama in 25 years, said he hopes to work with President Donald Trump on bolstering his state’s defense industry, and with the rest of the state’s Congressional delegation, all of whom he said he knows.
But Jones stopped short of calling on the Senate to delay a vote on the White House-backed tax reform package until he is sworn in, something Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for on Wednesday. “I'll let that play out. I really don't have a position on that,” Jones said. "You know, with the holidays and everything going on, this is a big deal. I want it to be done right.”
Moore was dogged throughout his campaign by allegations that he had sexually molested and assaulted girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s, accusations that he denied. Still, the allegations cast a national spotlight on the race, turning it from an expected victory for Moore in a deep-red state to a toss-up eventually won by Jones.
The Democrat said his victory was a “combination” of voters who cast ballots in support of him and those who voted against Moore.
“Every election is a combination of your message as well as your opponent's. And in this race, there's no question, we had the wind at our back,” he said. “Obviously, Roy Moore has his issues, with his record and all of the disturbing allegations. But that's okay. I'm fine with that because if people in this state reject that kind of politics, I think that’s a very good thing.” (politico)