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Doug Jones campaigns in Birmingham, calls Moore “extreme”

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones said  that there could not be more “contrast” between himself and Republican candidate Roy Moore.

Doug Jones is a Birmingham attorney and former U.S. attorney for North Alabama during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Jones spoke to reporters at Niki’s West, a restaurant in Birmingham, on Wednesday following Moore’s stunning defeat of appointed U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Jones said that Moore has been removed from the Alabama Supreme Court twice, but like a character in a horror movie, he just keeps coming back.

When asked if Moore’s victory had helped his fundraising, he said that it has had a tremendous effect and money just keeps coming in.

Jones told reporters that just before coming here he passed the $1 million threshold.

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Jones said that no one should fear voting for a Democrat, especially business people. Jones emphasized that he was “a business friendly Democrat, while still looking out for the working man.”

When reporters asked Jones if he thought he would do well in the Jefferson and Shelby County areas that Strange won on Tuesday, Jones said that he would and predicted, “I will win Jefferson County.”

Reporters asked Jones if the national Democratic Party would support his campaign. Jones said that he did not know yet.

Reporters asked Jones if there would be a backlash from out-of-state dollars coming in to help his campaign. Jones said that if you look at my opponent’s fundraising you will see that most of his money came from out-of-state. Jones said that national fundraising is just a fact today. Jones said that he has one supporter in New Mexico who sends him three or four dollar a month in cash addressed to “Jeff Sessions’ seat.”

A reporter asked Jones how he could reach voters that believe in issues like the Ten Commandments.

Jones said that he is also a Christian and that he goes to church; but that Moore is extreme.

Jones said that his campaign would focus on kitchen table, or in this case, dining room issues, like jobs and health care.

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Jones said that up to now he had been talking to Democratic primary voters; but now his campaign is moving beyond that to a larger audience.

A reporter asked if a Democrat could win state wide in Alabama – which no Democrat has done since 2008.

Jones said that there was a time when no Republican could win in Alabama. “Times change,” Jones said.

Jones spent 15 minutes going across the room shaking hands and introducing himself to the diners at Niki’s West.

The Alabama Political Reporter talked with several of the mostly elderly diners and most had not heard of Jones or did not recognize him by sight. Some expressed their support for Moore. Name recognition will be an issue for Jones, who has never held elected office before. Moore has incredible name recognition but must gain the support of Strange supporters, which made up 45 percent of Republican primary runoff voters.

The special general election will be on Dec. 12, 2017. 75 days from today.


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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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