It’s done. It’s finished. Democrat Doug Jones has been certified the winner of Alabama’s Senate race. For the first time in nearly a quarter century, a Democrat will be occupying Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat. Republican candidate Roy Moore beat Sen. Luther Strange in a primary. Strange was appointed by then-Alabama Gov. Rob Bentley to fill the vacancy left by Sessions, who went onto become attorney general. The campaign became a top story when multiple women came forward to allege that Moore has sexually molested and assaulted them when they were teenagers. The allegations proved too much for some GOP voters in the deep red state, as turnout among Republicans in the state was significantly lower. Jones won by a little over 21,000 votes, but Moore refused to concede, even lobbing a Hail Mary lawsuit to block certification. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill threw cold water on that earlier today. And now, it’s official (via Politico):
The state of Alabama on Thursday certified Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of this month’s special Senate election after a judge denied Republican Roy Moore’s effort to halt the process via a last-ditch lawsuit charging widespread voter fraud.
Moore, who has refused to concede since the December 12 vote, filed a last-minute lawsuit late Wednesday seeking to delay certification of Jones’ win and launch a fraud investigation into the election results. But the certification went on as planned on Thursday, with Merrill, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and state Attorney General Steve Marshall — all Republicans — signing off on the proceedings. Shortly before the 1 p.m. Central time event, a Montgomery County circuit court judge had denied Moore’s attempt to obtain a restraining order to stop the state’s action.
The certification sets the stage for Jones to be sworn into the Senate next week following the protracted, high-profile special election. Moore, a judge and longtime conservative celebrity in Alabama, triumphed over appointed Sen. Luther Strange during a primary earlier this year and was widely expected to win the special election until he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, when Moore was in his 30’s and the women were as young as 14 years old.