Get ready to say “Senator” Doug Jones. The Democrat who upset Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s December 12th special election takes office tomorrow, January 3rd.
It’s a historic day for Alabama.
Democrat Richard Shelby switched to the Republican party in 1994 when Democrats found it hard to win elections.
Critics charge some inside the GOP targeted Representative Mo Brooks to clear the way for Luther Strange.
Jones will become the state’s first Democrat to serve in the Senate since 1994. Democrat Richard Shelby switched parties when the political winds started blowing against him. Shelby switched to the GOP the day after voters ushered in the Republican Revolution. That gave the GOP control over both houses of Congress.
Vice-President Mike Pence will swear-in Jones, officially giving him the title of Senator.
Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, Senator Jones will officially go to work for Alabama in the United States Senate.
Jones had well-organized, widespread, enthusiastic support from Democrats across Alabama and beyond.
Republicans, intentionally or not, helped Jones win.
Jones replaces Luther Strange. Then-embattled Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed his fellow Republican to the seat held by Jeff Sessions. That appointment of Strange came after President Trump selected Senator Sessions to serve as United States Attorney General.
Many have criticized Bentley for picking Strange. At the time, Strange was Alabama’s Attorney General and was actively investigating possible misconduct by Governor Bentley.
Jones had a once-in-a-lifetime path to become senator. Ironically, Republicans unwittingly helped pave the way.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, through political action committees, helped pump millions of dollars into the primary race.
That money and the advertising it bought, as intended, derailed Representative Mo Brooks.
Brooks, considered by many the most conservative viable option, was knocked out during the primary. That left Strange and Judge Roy Moore as the top two vote-getters.
President Trump endorsed Strange. But, during a campaign-style visit to Huntsville, the President told the crowd he may have made a mistake. President Trump suggested he would support Moore if he defeated Strange.
Moore indeed beat Strange in the GOP runoff. That set up a race between Judge Moore and Doug Jones.
Several women came out accusing Moore of dating them when they were in their late teens. Other accusations were more severe. One accused Moore of molesting a 14-year-old girl while he was in his early 30’s.
Many Republicans abandoned Moore. Eventually, President Trump threw his support to Moore.
Judge Moore didn’t handle defeat well. He’s yet to concede to soon-to-be Senator Doug Jones.