REPORT: In Alabama, Sen. Doug Jones kicks off 2020 reelection bid
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat who pulled off a stunning political upset in Alabama two years ago, launched his reelection bid Sunday, seeking to create another Deep South victory in a Republican-dominated state.
Before several hundred cheering supporters in Birmingham, Jones kicked off his 2020 campaign. Invoking the campaign theme of “One Alabama,” Jones said he is a senator who represents all of Alabama and will fight for everyone in the state.
The article goes on to state the following:
“The success of our state depends on engaging the power and the spirit and the intellect of our millions of citizens,” Jones said. “No matter the zip code you live in, your race, your religion, your disability, your economic status — no matter who you love— we all want to succeed in a world where no one, no one is left behind,” Jones said.
The Deep South Democrat defeated Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the Senate vacancy created when Jeff Sessions became President Donald Trump’s first U.S. attorney general. Now considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat, Jones is seeking a full term in office in the usually reliably red state.
His 2017 victory was aided by scandal when Moore, already a divisive figure among state voters, was accused of sexual misconduct. Several women said Moore pursued romantic and sexual relationships with them when they were teens and he was a prosecutor in his 30s. One of the woman was as young as 14.
Moore vehemently denied the accusations and is now part of a crowded GOP field vying for a chance to challenge Jones in 2020.
David Hughes, a political scientist at Auburn University at Montgomery, said Jones will face an “extremely uphill battle.”
Jones is running in a year when Trump, who is intensely popular in the state, will be on the ballot, driving GOP turnout, Hughes said. Hughes said Jones also could face a more mainstream Republican who doesn’t have the negatives that Moore carried.
“There would have to be something calamitous to prevent Republicans from turning out,” Hughes added.
With partisan control of the Senate on the line, Republicans have made defeating Jones a top priority in 2020.
The Alabama Republican Party has a countdown on its website ticking off the days until he is out of office. The National Republican Senatorial Committee drove a billboard carrying truck outside the Birmingham venue calling him “Anti-Trump Democrat Doug Jones” who “sides with socialists.”
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