While Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has been getting national coverage due to a plethora of allegations, you may not be as familiar with his Democratic opponent. Doug Jones is running against Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate to replace current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As Alabama Republicans and moderates will have a significant decision to make come December 12th, it’s important to know who Moore is running against.
Before allegations of his inappropriate conduct with underage girls, Moore won the GOP primary runoff for Senate on September 26th. Yet, CNN reported that he was even controversial back then, for putting his religious and homophobic beliefs before his job. An evangelical Christian, Moore was removed from his position as Alabama state Supreme Court chief justice for not following a federal court order to take down a Ten Commandments monument in 2003. He became the chief justice again — and was removed from the position once more — when he refused to follow the federal ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in 2016.
On the other hand, Jones has a clean record. As The Washington Post reported, Jones is a native of Alabama and a lawyer who had never run for office before. Before this Senate race, he was best known for successfully prosecuting members of the Ku Klux Klan, who were responsible for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The bombing of the Birmingham church killed four girls, and decades later as a U.S. attorney, Jones convicted two of the Klan members who were involved in this racist attack.
“People are going to have a stark contrast and a choice,” Jones told NPR about the election. “Someone who has been talking to them about issues, about issues they care about every day, or someone who has a sordid history — not only a personal history but a professional history.”
Yet, while Jones should be the obvious choice for Alabama Democrats, The Washington Post reported that Alabama Democrats haven’t seriously run in the Senate race since 1996. This is due to the southern state being notably red for the last two decades. However, Jones is trying to combat this by running ads with the goal of converting Republicans to his side, and NPR noted that he has supported gun rights.
As for where he stands on other issues, CNN reported that Jones is liberal in the areas of health care, abortion, and LGBT rights. He has also made an enemy of President Donald Trump, but according to the Huffington Post, former Vice President Joe Biden is a longtime friend and supporter of Jones. In September, The Washington Post reported that Jones said,
This special election has rightfully captured the attention of the entire nation, but it will be up to the people of Alabama on December 12th to choose between Moore and Jones. While it seems like there’s clearly a right choice, we’ll know where the majority of Alabama stands in a week.