On Friday, December 8, President Donald Trump held a rally in Pensacola, Florida, which is just 10 miles away from the Florida-Alabama border. At the rally, Trump urged supporters in Alabama to “get out and vote for Roy Moore!” The special election for the open U.S. Senate seat will be held on Tuesday, December 12, where Alabama voters will choose between Republican Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from his position twice, and Democrat Doug Jones, a former District Attorney in Northern Alabama. The winner will be elected to the Senate seat that was vacated when Jeff Sessions became Attorney General.
The Republican, Roy Moore, is likely to be the winner, but comes with a bag full of controversy. Several weeks ago, one woman came forward and accused Moore of sexual misconduct, saying that Moore attempted to date her when he was in 30’s, and she was just a teenager. Since the first woman, several more women have come forward, saying similar things, that Moore tried dating them while they were teenagers, and that he groped them and tried to get them to have sex with him.
Moore, a conservative, also has some very radical views. Moore has said that the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks happened because God was punishing the U.S. for accepting homosexuality and that the U.S. would have less problems if we didn’t ratify any of the constitutional amendments after the Bill of Rights. Moore has said that families were stronger in the 1860’s, when slavery was still legal, and he has also suggested that Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison should not be in Congress because he is a Muslim.
Despite all of the baggage that accompanies Moore, President Trump still chose to ultimately endorse him, and even campaign for him. After the President gave his endorsement, the RNC (Republican National Committee) began to devote funds into the race again, after they previously pulled funding from the race following many of the sexual misconduct allegations. If Moore is elected, several Senators have said that they will conduct an ethics investigation, and several others have suggested that the Senate should go as for as refuse to seat him.
In the election on December 12, Democrat Doug Jones won the special election to become the newest United States Senator. He beat the embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore in a very contested race, as the lead changed multiple times before Jones finally pulled ahead for good, and ironically Fox News, whose anchors were undoubtedly pro-Moore, was the first major news station to call the election in Jones’ favor.
In the aftermath of the election, Moore has refused to concede the election because ballots have not been certified, saying in a new video statement, “In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots. This has been a very close race and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.” According to Alabama state officials, the election will not be officially certified no earlier than December 26 and no later than January 3.
Moore has also continued his divisive campaign rhetoric even past election day, saying in that video statement, “Abortion, sodomy, and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Along with the sexual assault allegations, Moore’s inflammatory comments helped bring out many more Democrats in urban areas than was expected. Jones was carried to victory by his wide margins in Madison, Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, and Montgomery counties, as he outperformed Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Jones will be a welcome sight for Senate Democrats as they gear up to oppose the Republican tax bill that will cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Jones’ Democratic vote could make a major difference, because now the Republican Senate majority has been cut from a two-seat to a one-seat majority, as they hold just 51 of the 100 seats.