By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Senator-elect Doug Jones will be formally sworn in in Washington as Alabama’s new U.S. Senator by Vice President Mike Pence.
Traditionally a new senator is escorted by the senior Senator from the state; but Jones, a Democrat, has chosen to be accompanied by his long time friend, former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden served in the Senate for decades beginning in 1972. Jones is a former aide to then Sen. Howell Heflin and knew Biden from that era of his life.
Biden was one of the first Democrats to come to Alabama to campaign for Jones.
Jones has hired former transportation official and congressional aide Dana Gresham as his new chief of staff. Jones will be the only Senate Democrat with a Black chief of staff; though both Sens. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, have Black chiefs of staff.
Gresham formerly was chief of staff for U.S. Representative Artur Davis. Gresham is from Birmingham. He has a degree from Georgetown and attended Parker High School. More recently, Gresham was the assistant secretary for government affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, during the Obama Administration,
Jones was appointed a U.S. Attorney by then President Bill Clinton.
Jones narrowly defeated Republican nominee Roy Moore after Republican Establishment leaders including Shelby and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell1 refused to support Moore.
Moore alleges that he was defeated through election fraud and has not conceded the race.
The vacancy was created by President Donald Trump when he appointed Jeff Sessions, who succeeded Heflin, as U.S. attorney general.
Jones’ election changes the division in the Senate to 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.
(Original reporting by Politico and WAAY Channel 31 contributed to this report.)