On Tuesday night, Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions. While Jones was overjoyed by his victory, which came as somewhat of a surprise, he is now learning that the job may be far more difficult than he initially thought.
Fox News reported that GOP leaders are already pressuring Jones to support their legislative agenda in the hopes that he will abandon his party in order to retain the support of Alabama voters, most of whom are conservative.
“I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican majority,” said Colorado GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Jones’ win marks the first time in 25 years that a Democratic senator has been elected in Alabama. However, Jones is undoubtedly fully aware that he was aided by the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.
“I think Jones is going to be highly cognizant that he’s representing the state of Alabama,” Democratic strategist Douglas Smith said Tuesday. “The wildcard is will [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell find things to bring him on board.”
In his victory speech, Jones noticeably avoided saying anything about how he plans to operate in Washington. However, he did make a point to say that he won bipartisan support and to urge the GOP-controlled Congress to fund the recently expired Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, before he arrives in January. While both ongressional Democrats and Republicans support the program, they disagree over funding.
“I have this challenge to my future colleagues in Washington,” Jones said. “Take this election where the people of Alabama said we want to get something done: We want you to find common ground, we want you to talk. … Go ahead and fund that CHIP program before I get up there.”
President Donald Trump himself even indicated that he wants to cozy up to Jones by congratulating him on his win.
“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory,” he tweeted Tuesday night. “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
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