Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore to win Alabama Senate seat

Democrat candidate defeated Republican Roy Moore in tightly contested race in Alabama for US Senate seat. Jones won the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a race that wasn’t expected to be competitive.

"We have come so far and the people of Alabama have spoken," Jones said during a victory speech in Birmingham late Tuesday.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones had 49.9 percent to Moore's 48.4 percent. Jones has pulled off a major upset in Alabama by defeating Moore, becoming the first Democrat to win election to the Senate from the deeply conservative state in 25 years.

Many people are asking about the political fallout from Jones' victory.

In a tweet, President Trump congratulated Jones on his “hard fought victory.”

"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!" Trump tweeted.

Moore’s loss does relieve Senate Republicans from one burden: Considering whether they would expel him from the chamber if he won. But the party will have a reed-thin margin for error in the coming months as it tries to push through its agenda. And Moore's defeat was a major setback for Trump, who gave the candidate a full-throated endorsement in the final days of the race, in a state he carried with over 60 percent of the vote in 2016.

The election is also a major defeat for the president's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who as the head of Breitbart led a bare-knucles campaign to elect Moore and drag down Jones. Bannon had cast the race as an existential showdown between the activist base and Washington elites, but only to wind up on the losing end.

Democrats are gaining more confidence in their effort to regain government control, coming just a month after a historic Republican wipeout in the battleground state of Virginia. With Jones in office, Democrats will have a credible, if still difficult, path to retake control of the Senate two years into Trump’s term.

Moore is not immediately conceding to Democrat Doug Jones, who won the race, telling campaign supporters during a brief appearance “it’s not over.”

Moore said the campaign was looking into the state's "recount provision." Under Alabama law, a mandatory recount takes place if a candidate wins by a half percent or less.

Secretary of State John Merrill said after Moore spoke that even though the margin of victory stood at more than 1 percent, an automatic recount could still be ordered, if a review of write-in votes and military ballots narrowed the margin of victory to less than 0.5 percent.

Barring an unforeseen shift in ballots, the outcome was not likely to change.

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