Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, who won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat this week, called on his Republican opponent to concede the race and help heal the Southern state after a deeply divisive contest.
Roy Moore, the conservative Christian Republican whose campaign was tainted by accusations that he pursued teenager girls while in his 30s, made a second statement on Wednesday night in which he did not concede the election.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, defeated Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court justice, in a special election on Tuesday that saw a Democratic win a Senate seat in the state for the first time in a quarter-century. The result also raised questions about Republicans’ future under U.S. President Donald Trump.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Jones had a lead of 1.5 percentage points over Moore, and the state’s secretary of state, a Republican, has said the remaining ballots were unlikely shrink the victory to the half a percentage point margin required to trigger a recount.
Jones said in an interview with NBC that he was confident of the outcome.
“It’s time to move on,” he said. “The people of Alabama have now spoken … Let’s get this behind us so the people of Alabama can get someone in there and start working for them.”
Jones on Wednesday said he had received congratulatory phone calls from Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader.
Trump had attacked Jones and endorsed Moore, who was accused of trying to initiate sexual contact with one woman when she was 14. Moore has denied the allegations.
In a video statement released Wednesday night, Moore said he would not step aside as military and provisional ballots were still being counted and the race was not yet certified. He also derided the Washington establishment and contemporary society.
“We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization, and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity,” Moore said. “And the battle rages on.”
Jones’ win will reduce Republicans’ hold on the Senate, narrowing their majority to 51 seats of 100 as they seek to push through Trump’s legislative agenda.
Schumer has called on Republican leadership to hold their vote on pending tax legislation until Alabama certifies the election result and Jones is seated in the chamber.
On Thursday, Jones told NBC that he did not have a position on that.
“I want to make sure it’s done right,” he said.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)
Things are so bad for Republicans the GOP had to send money to Texas
In 2016, then-anti-Trump Republican Sen. Linsey Graham proclaimed, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it." It seems his prediction is coming closer to fruition.
Financial reporting reveals that the Republican Party was forced to send $1.3 million to ruby-red Texas as the election nears.
It was something spotted by ProPublica developer and ex-reporter Derek Willis Sunday.
"That's never happened before," he tweeted.
He noted that the Texas GOP raised $3.3 million in August, but nearly half of that came from their national parents.
What the London ‘Blitz’ reveals about how much pain and tragedy people can handle in 2020
It's hard to imagine how 2020 could possibly get worse. "If we lose Betty White," a friend said on a drive to the Supreme Court to lay flowers.
So many Americans have lost friends or family members to COVID-19. Thousands of Americans survived the virus only to desperately needed organ transplants and forever will struggle to breathe the way they once did. Others are still suffering without smell or taste even three months after having the virus. Millions of Americans are out of work. Debt is stacking up for those trying to survive in the COVID economy. A lack of health insurance can mean hospitalizations from the virus are putting people into bankruptcy.
Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert
MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.
Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it's time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.
"Keep in mind that a protest isn't a conversation, right?" she first began. "That's a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody's mind or convince them that they are wrong. You're just never going to accomplish that. There's no evidence. We haven't been able to -- through years and years of research we haven't been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, 'You're right, I was completely wrong.' You've convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations."