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Robert Kennedy endorses Doug Jones, urges that no one write in his name

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Democrat Robert Kennedy Jr. contacted the Alabama Political Reporter to announce that he was not running a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate.

Longtime Birmingham area radio personality Frank Matthews released a video on Wednesday urging Black voters not to vote for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones, but to instead write in Democratic Primary candidate Robert Kennedy Jr..

Kennedy said that it was “humbling” that people still wanted him as their senator; but that he had endorsed Jones on election night and that he was still honoring his pledge to support him.

Kennedy is a former U.S. Navy Commander who graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he was elected as class president, and has a Master’s degree from Duke University.

Kennedy performed well in early polls of the Democratic Primary.  This was attributed to his famous sounding name.  Kennedy however is Black and of no relation to the Massachusetts Kennedy clan, which were dominant forces in American Democratic Party politics for five decades. Kennedy is named for his father Robert Kennedy Sr. who was named before the famous Kennedy’s rose to national prominence thus the name similarity is just a coincidence.

Kennedy told APR that he would not want to be responsible for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore winning the Senate seat by siphoning off votes from Jones.

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Blacks make up three quarters of the Alabama Democratic Party’s regular voters and the Jones campaign needs a heavy Black voter turnout in order to have any hope of winning against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.  The Jones campaign has been struggling to connect with Black voters while not alienating his White suburban liberal base or Luther Strange Republicans who don’t like Moore that Jones hope will choose him on election day.

Jones is focusing heavily in these last days of the campaign on maximizing turnout in the Black community.

Jones was appointed a U.S. Attorney by then President Bill Clinton.  While a U.S. attorney, he investigated and successfully prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four little girls in Birmingham.  The national revulsion from the terrorist attack was a decisive event in the Civil Rights Movement.

There are several declared write-in candidates.  None appear to be making a lot of traction in this heavily covered election.

Jones will face Moore in the special general election on Tuesday. Moore received endorsements from a number of Black conservatives including Ambassador Alan Keyes and Reverend Siran Stacy.

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


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