- Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Alabama’s new U.S. senator-elect, Democrat Doug Jones, says he wants to find common ground after a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory against Republican candidate Roy Moore Tuesday night.
Jones, in his first press conference as the state’s new senator, told reporters Wednesday “this has been an amazing night,” referring to his victory in the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Although Jones beat Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court who had been accused of sexual misconduct, he said he has not talked with Moore, who has refused to concede the election. Asked whether Moore should concede, Jones said, “I’m going to leave that to him.”
Jones’ message, both during the campaign and after, is “common ground.”
“Let’s find common ground,” Jones said. “The key is finding the common ground.”
“The people of this state have more in common than we do that divides us.”
"I think I'm a lot more center-of-the-road political figure, public figure," he said.
Jones is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in deep red Alabama in 25 years.
He credited volunteers and “boots on the ground” for winning the election in what seemed like a long shot.
“We knocked on 300,000 doors ... we knew the importance of minority votes ... we had a lot of support.”
“We were true to ourselves and I think that was an important piece of winning this election,” he said.
“This campaign is giving a lot of people a reason to believe.”
President Donald Trump called Jones Wednesday to congratulate him and invited him for a White House visit. The new senator also talked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Jones also told reporters he believed the eight women who came forward to accuse Moore of pursuing them when they were underage or young teenagers and he was in his 30s.
“We’ve reached the tipping point in this country where women need to stand up.”
When asked if he thought Moore’s accusers impacted the election, Jones responded,
"I think Roy Moore was disqualified from this job to begin with."
The Alabama election is not yet certified, but Jones said he’s in the process of forming a transition team and is expected to be sworn into office early next year.