Tag: 2017 U.S. Senate race
It’s been almost two months since Doug Jones took office as Alabama’s first Democratic U.S. senator in more than 20 years, and the international spotlight that accompanied his surprising win has faded somewhat.
Jones’ December upset against far-right candidate Roy Moore, who had been the favorite to win before allegations of sexual misconduct derailed his campaign, was seen by many as a bellwether of America’s political future, both in 2018 and in 2020.
“If a Democrat can win in Alabama,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza said after Jones’ victory, “a Democrat can win just about anywhere in the country.”
Now, the novelty of his victory has worn off, and with it Jones has shifted from a political symbol to a centrist lawmaker. As he promised during his campaign, he doesn’t follow the party line. Instead, he’s aligned himself with a bipartisan group of moderate senators, the Common Sense Coalition, which some commentators have credited with ending last month’s government shutdown. A less successful effort by the coalition, on which Jones worked, was a bipartisan immigration bill that failed earlier this month.
But Jones remains optimistic that “common ground” — a favorite phrase of his — can be found on that issue and others. He believes agreements can be made even on hot-button issues such as gun laws, in the wake of Feb. 14’s Parkland, Florida, shooting.
“If we continue to have dialogues, not monologues, and continue to find common ground,” he said at a rally on Sunday, “we can help empower the kids of Parkland, Florida, to lead the next tipping point.”
Jones, who has been visiting Alabama during the congressional break, spoke with BirminghamWatch about his first weeks as a senator, the viability of centrism in a polarized political landscape, and Alabama’s possible future as a two-party state.
BirminghamWatch: Because your election received so much nationwide attention, when you entered the Senate last month, you were already one of its most famous members. How has that dynamic played out? How have you been received by your fellow senators?
Doug Jones: I’ve been received very well. It’s been very nice. Everybody has been very cordial, very helpful, on both sides of the aisle. … Obviously people in the media, they see me as kind of like the unicorn up there, the Democrat from Alabama. (We) do exist! But it’s been great. We tried to (be) low-key and not do too much. I think we played it really good, to try to get my feet wet, let me find my voice, get to know some people. But my Democratic and Republican colleagues have just been great. That’s why I enjoyed working on this bipartisan bill (with the) Common Sense Coalition. I got to know some folks, and it’s been very, very good. Read more.
Candidates and independent committees raised more than $49 million last year for Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election, won by Democrat Doug Jones.
Financial reports posted this week by the Federal Election Commission show Jones with $22.05 million in contributions to his campaign during 2017, compared to $6.15 million for Republican Roy Moore. Those reports include money raised by Jones for the Democratic primary in August and the general election on Dec. 5, and by Moore for the Republican primary, GOP runoff and general election.
In addition, independent committees, known as Super PACs, reported spending $2.37 million in support of Jones and $1.24 million in opposition to him. Super PACs spent $158,464 in support of Moore and $5.19 million in efforts to defeat him. Read more.
WASHINGTON – Doug Jones took the oath of office as Alabama’s first Democratic U.S. senator in a quarter-century Wednesday, narrowing the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49.
“I am humbled and honored to stand here today, chosen by the people of Alabama to represent our state in this historic institution,” Jones said. “I will work every day to make sure I hear their voices and that their voices are heard in Washington. It is time to come together and rebuild the trust we need to find common ground and expand opportunity for all.”
Jones is widely seen as a Democrat who will challenge President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, fight increases in the minimum wage and oppose abortion rights.
With Jones in the Senate, GOP success in repealing Obamacare becomes much less likely, and if just two Republicans vote with Democrats, Trump nominees or budget measures would be defeated. Read more.
State officials certified the election of Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate Thursday despite a last-minute legal attempt by Jones’ opponent, Roy Moore, to stop the process.
According to the certified vote tally Jones won with 673,896 votes, 49.97 percent of the vote, over Moore’s 651,972 votes, 48.34 percent — a margin of victory of 21,924 votes, or 1.63 percent. Of the 22,852 write-in votes counted, Jones received 18 and Moore received 14.
Compared to the unofficial vote count, Jones gained 2,745 votes, while Moore gained 1,536 votes.
“I’m looking forward to going to work for the people of Alabama in the new year,” Jones said in a statement after the certification. Read more.
Democrat Doug Jones raised about twice as much money for his winning U.S. Senate campaign as his Republican opponent collected, with the vast majority of the money flowing through an organization that helps Democratic candidates raise funds.
Jones’ final report to the Federal Election Commission showed contributions totaling $11.71 million during 2017. Roy Moore, the Republican candidate and former Alabama chief justice, raised $5,152,464.
The vast majority of the money collected by Jones – $9.57 million – was funneled into his campaign through ActBlue. The organization, which allows contributors to make donations to specific candidates via its website, helped all of the Democrats who ran for the Senate in 2016 raise money and has funneled $1.95 billion to Democratic and progressive candidates since 2004. Read more.
Doug Jones raised $11.71 million in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat. Here are campaign contributions of $5,000 and up collected in 2017 by Jones. Read more.
Roy Moore raised $5,152,464 in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat. Here are campaign contributions of $5,000 and up collected in 2017 by Moore. Read more.
As the voting numbers started to come in Tuesday night, so did calls, texts, and social media posts to Alabama residents from their out-of-state friends, family and acquaintances.
The fervor of the race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore in the special Senate election had captured the attention of the entire country.
Alabamians found themselves cast in the role of political analysts even before election night.
Early in the race, buzz seemed to be about the race’s effect on the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and candidates’ controversial statements. The national conversation exploded after the Washington Post published a story alleging sexual misconduct on the part of Republican candidate Roy Moore. National and international news outlets flocked to Alabama to cover the candidates.
Just as it happens when a big football game is played or a tornado touches down, everyday people became the micro-level information headquarters for their friends and family. Read more.
The man who had hours before pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Alabama political history was quipping Wednesday about business development, of sorts.
“Folks, once again, let me say this. I have appreciated all that you have done for the Alabama economy, coming down here.”
Democrat Doug Jones, newly elected to the U.S. Senate, was talking to the throngs of reporters, photographers and camera crews — collectively known as “the media” — who descended on Alabama from across the nation and around the world, representing an unprecedented interest in Alabama’s often-colorful politics. Read more.
In his first press conference since being elected senator, Doug Jones reiterated his desire to find “common ground” on both sides of the political aisle and dismissed his opponent’s refusal to concede the election.
Jones defeated the twice-deposed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore by roughly 20,000 votes Tuesday night, a surprise Democratic win in a state that for decades has been considered a Republican stronghold. However, Moore has not conceded the race, telling supporters that “when the vote is this close … it’s not over.”
For the most part, Jones’ responses to reporters’ questions were conciliatory, stressing the need to find “common ground” — a phrase he repeated 12 times during the press conference — in the midst of a divisive political climate.
“I know I’m just sounding like a broken record (when I) talk about that,” Jones said, “but I just think it is so important that we try to sit down at a table and talk about issues and talk about the things that matter in the big picture … . I want to try to find those issues more and more that we can find common ground on, and let’s just agree to disagree on those issues that are so divisive that it’s hard to even talk to people about them.” Read more.