Doug Jones became the first Democrat in 25 years to win a Senate seat in Alabama on Tuesday
63-year-old Doug Jones, a lawyer best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members for a church bombing that killed four young black girls, won the victory due to a high African American turnout.
A huge blow was thus dealt to President Trump, who had thrown his weight behind a controversial Republican who was accused of molesting teenage girls. Surprisingly, the loser refused to concede defeat.
The win — the first in an Alabama Senate race for the Democrats in 25 years — cuts the Republicans’ majority in the chamber to a single vote.
“I am truly overwhelmed,” Mr Jones told a crowd of ecstatic supporters in the city of Birmingham last night. “We have shown the country the way that we can be unified ... This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency.”
The Republican candidate, Roy Moore, 70, would normally have won a state that Mr Trump won by 28 percentage points last year. Sadly, the former judge’s lead in the polls collapsed last month after he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old schoolgirl in 1979 when he was 32.
The president was gracious. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter:
“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”