Jaws dropped and heads turned across the United States on December 12, 2017, when Democrat Doug Jones declared victory over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election. Considering Alabama had not elected a Democrat since the election and re-elections of Howell Heflin in 1978, 1984, and 1990, Jones’s win came as quite a shock to many. With recent allegations made by nine women against Moore regarding instances of sexual or inappropriate social misconduct, people are saying that Moore’s defeat can be blamed solely on the arisal of these accusations.
Roy Moore is an American politician who served as the 28th and 32nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. A lifelong Alabamian, Moore carries with him many of the popular beliefs and cultural behaviors associated with the state. He is a committed constitutional conservative, and has stood up for religious freedom for the entirety of his career. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1969, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Arts and Engineering before serving in the U.S. Army as a company commander with the Military Police Corps in Vietnam. In 1977, Moore became the first full-time Deputy District Attorney in Etowah County, Alabama. In 1992, he became a judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama, and served until he was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000. He was removed from this position in 2003, then re-elected in 2012. He retired in 2016 in hopes of being electected into the office of the United States Senate.
Doug Jones is an American attorney and politician who formerly served as a federal prosecutor representing the Northern District of Alabama and is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Alabama. He was born in Fairfield, Alabama, and began his legal career in his home state. Jones graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 1976, then went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1979. In 1997, he rose to the post of U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama; however, it was not until 2017 that he rose to national fame while campaigning against Judge Moore for the vacant U.S. Senate seat. Outside of his 2017 victory over Moore, he is best-known for prosecuting Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry, two members of the Ku Klux Klan, for their roles in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
Of the nine women, only three said they had been sexually assaulted by Moore when they were aged 14, 16, and 28, while the other six told of the judge pursuing a romantic relationship with them while he was in his 30s and they were as young as 16. This being said, none of the six women described there having been any inappropriate sexual contact. In light of these accusations, many prominent Republicans such as John McCain and Mitt Romney encouraged Moore to drop out of the race. He did not. Despite the allegations, United States President Donald Trump continued to support Moore, and even went so far as to formally endorse him. Alabama is widely known as a deeply red state, causing people to believe that the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Judge Moore are primarily to blame for the results of this election. During the campaign trail, the Jones campaign outraised the Moore campaign by 5 to 1, bringing in more than $10 million in total. Jones reportedly won with 49.92 percent of the vote, and Moore with 48.38 percent of the vote. Jones’ victory gives Republicans just a 51-49 edge in the Senate, making Democrats everywhere optimistic for the future of their Party in the upper chamber of the United States Congress.
by Rachel Clift