U.S. Senator Doug Jones said that he would support the eventual Democratic nominee for President of the United States. His GOP opponents have seized on the issue as showing that Jones, the only Democrat holding any elected statewide office, is too extreme for Alabama.
On Tuesday, Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R) told the Alabama Political Reporter that Jones’ willingness to support and of the potential Democratic nominees over incumbent Donald J. Trump shows that Jones is “out of touch with the working men and women of our state.”
Sec. Merrill is one of several Republicans running for the Republican nomination for Jones’ Senate seat.
“Senator Jones comments about supporting the future Democratic nominee for President indicates his lack of understanding and appreciation for the values of the people of Alabama,” Merrill said.
“None of the announced democratic candidates for the Presidency represent Alabama thinking or Alabama values,” Merrill added. “He is obviously out of touch with the working men and women of our state who want a President who will represent them and help them work toward achieving their goals, accomplishing their dreams, and providing for their families!”
Jones has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in the crowded Democratic field for the Presidential nomination. There are presently at least 24 candidates competing for the Democratic nomination for President.
Merrill was elected Secretary of State in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. He previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives representing Tuscaloosa County. Merrill has formerly worked in banking and prior to his election to the state House he worked for the Tuscaloosa school system. Merrill is a former University of Alabama Student Government Association President. He grew up in Cleburne County where his father was the Probate Judge.
Merrill is part of a crowded Republican field for the Senate nomination, which includes: State Representative Arnold Mooney, Congressman Bradley Byrne, former Auburn University football Coach Tommy Tuberville, businessman Stanley Adair, and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Jones upset Moore in the 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions (R), who had been appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Trump.
Jones is a former U.S. Attorney during the Clinton Administration. He had been in private practice since leaving the Justice Department. Jones currently has not Democratic primary challenger.
Republicans currently hold a very narrow 53 to 47 advantage in the U.S. Senate, thus the Alabama Senate race likely will have national importance.
The Alabama major party primaries will be on March 3, with the general election on November 3, 2020.