On a Tuesday night when Democrats had reason to smile for the first time in a long time, winning elections in Virginia and New Jersey, an estimated crowd of 400 people showed up in Fyffe, in DeKalb County, to see Doug Jones.
Jones, a Democrat, is running in a special election for United States Senator, a seat Jeff Session held for 20 years, on Tuesday, Dec. 12 against Republican Roy Moore, a former chief justice who was removed from office twice.
There hasn’t been a meaningful statewide race since 2008 and an even longer time since a Democrat won. Yet, there are those who believe Jones has a chance, maybe even better than just a chance.
However, that still remains to be seen, in a state bleeds Republican and hasn’t voted for a Democrat running for president in 40 years.
In 2012, Moore won the chief justice seat with 51 percent against Bob Vance, a circuit judge in Birmingham who got into the race late. Democrats also say that was on the same ballot as the presidential election that saw Republican Mitt Romney defeat President Barack Obama in Alabama with more than 60 percent of the vote.
In December, there won’t be a presidential race. It’s Jones vs. Moore. Jones, a Birmingham lawyer known for prosecuting the two men responsible for the 1963 Sixteenth Chapel bombing in Birmingham, is more than a token candidate.
However, in one of the most, if not the most, Republican states in the nation, is it enough? In a state where social issues resonate more than anything, such as abortion, gay marriage and NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, will Jones’ qualifications even matter?