Two years ago, Sen. Doug Jones made a remarkable victory as a Democratic candidate in the typically red state of Alabama. He is hoping to do the same next year.
In front of hundreds of supporters in Birmingham, Jones has started the campaign once again. The Senator has stated that he will represent entire Alabama and will fight for everyone equally.
As Jones has said before his voters, Alabama’s success depends on engaging its citizens’ spirit, power, and intellect. He added that no one wishes to be left behind, no matter their economic status, religion, race, disability, or zip code.
In 2017, Jones prevailed over Republican Roy Moore in an election organized to fill a vacant place on the Senate. Today, as a Democrat, Jones’s position is the most uncertain. However, he is still hoping to finish a full term in office.
The victory over Moore was partly the result of many accusations of sexual misconduct against the Republican, who had already been a controversial political figure. A number of women had come out to say that Moore had pursued them when they were minors, looking for sexual relationships. According to the women, Moore was in his 30s at the time, while the youngest girl was 14 years old.
The 2017 Republican candidate has vehemently denied these accusations and is presently looking to challenge Jones’s 2020 bid.
According to David Hughes from Auburn University, Jones has a serious challenge ahead of him. Hughes has pointed out that Trump will be running in 2020, so a bigger Republican turnout should be expected. GOP may also have a more neutral candidate, compared to Moore two years ago.
Since partisan control of the Senate is at stake, Alabamian Republicans have prioritized winning over Jones in 2020. The party in Alabama has a countdown on their site, waiting for Jones to leave the office. Also, the National Republican Senatorial Committee drove a truck by the Birmingham venue with a billboard calling the Senator “Anti-Trump Democrat” who agrees with socialists.
Jones had grown up in a working class family in Fairfield, a city west of Birmingham. During Bill Clinton’s administration, he worked as a U.S. attorney when he prosecuted the Klansmen involved in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.
Jones identifies as a moderate. As a gun owner, he supports universal background checks for all potential buyers. One of his main objectives is to expand Medicaid since Alabama has high maternal and infant mortality rates.
It is supposed that Republican opponents will emphasize Jones’ pro-choice stance as Alabama has historically been against abortion. The state’s Constitution features anti-abortion language, and its lawmakers are aiming to prohibit it entirely. GOP might also focus on Jones’ open disagreement with some of Trump’s decisions regarding judicial nominations.
During the kick-off campaign, Jones has stated that he has a target on his back and his chest. He reminded the reporters that no one believed he had a chance in 2017 as well.
Jones has urged his voters to only pay attention to his official record and not to the labels GOP has been giving him.
According to the Democratic Senator, it is impossible to look at his record and claim that he is a liberal or a far conservative. “I’m just Doug,” he stated and added that he only does what he believes is right for Alabama.
Many Democrats and moderates in the Yellowhammer State eagerly accepted Jones’s 2017 victory. They admitted that the 2020 fight would be more challenging, but the voters remain optimistic. One 58-year-old teacher said that they “need him.”
However, Republicans vehemently disagree. Bradley Byrne, a U.S. Rep. hoping to get a seat on the Senate, has pointed out several of Jones’s stances he opposes. These include the Democrat’s support of abortions, gun control, and Jones’s vote against Judge Kavanaugh. According to Byrne, Doug is completely “out of touch” with his state.