Alabama gains first Democrat Senator in 25 years

By Student Writer Cody Campbell

Democrat Doug Jones secured a narrow victory over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election to become the state’s first Democratic senator in 25 years.

College towns played a major role in the election with Jones winning the majority of votes.

Senior Kasey Knodson said she is happy with the election results.

“I’m just glad Roy Moore lost,” Knodson said. “Of course I voted for Doug Jones.”

The election is a big win for Democrats as Jones will help shift the Republican majority in the House to only a single seat. Jones’ election could have a major impact at the national level as Democrats gear up for the coming midterm elections, which could lead to a Democrat majority in the House and turn the tides on the current administration.

The campaign leading to the special election was swamped in controversy.

Several women accused Moore of having sexually assaulted them several years before.

A total of nine women came forward to announce Moore pursued inappropriate sexual relationships with them. Many of the women were teenagers at the time of the assault while Moore would have been in his 30s.

The Moore controversy had its effect on the election results, but it was not the only factor contributing to Jones’ victory. A vast majority of African-Americans voted for Jones, according to a poll CNN conducted Dec. 13, 2017.

This same poll also showed Jones took the majority of women votes and young voters. He also won the majority of the votes casted by voters registered as Independents.

The Republican party also contributed to the downfall of Moore’s campaign, with several prominent party leaders actively speaking out against Moore. Mitch McConnell, the Republican House Majority WHIP, a leader in the Republican party, and Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House, both denounced Moore following the announcement of the allegations made against him.

Many Alabamians felt the same because the election received more than 22,000 write-in votes.

“Alabama has spoken,” Jones said on CNN’s State of the Union following the announcement of his victory. “It was a close election. There’s no question about that. But now it’s time to heal. Now it’s time to move on and go to the next thing.”