During his campaign stop in Troy, Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate running for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat, against Republican candidate Roy Moore, said his focus is to “stay on message and maintain the same message.”
Jones addressed a crowd of about 20, who gathered in Joel Williams’ law office on the Square in downtown Troy on Friday, Nov. 17, and he said he strives to avoid division among Alabamians.
“I believed all along the people of this state have more issues in common than that divide us,” Jones said. “There is a movement across the country in which people are tired of division.
“I do my best to find common ground with everyone in this state.”
Jones gained his reputation as a lawyer who prosecuted two members of the Ku Klux Klan — a white supremacy group — who participated in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham that killed four young girls, according to AL.com.
Jones spoke about the support his campaign has rallied.
“Things are moving at a breakneck pace, and stakes have gone up,” Jones said. “It’s time we put our best foot forward instead of taking leaps backward.
“The country is at a tipping point, and no one is immune. Elections have consequences.”
Jones’ key campaign and policy issues, known as “kitchen table issues,” include health care, the economy and women’s rights.
According to his campaign website, Jones said he believes health care is a right and not a privilege, and he wants to provide equal access to quality care.
Jones’ website states that he supports wage equality to ensure that any two people would make the same amount of pay for the same amount of work, regardless of gender. He favors local business and improvement to Alabama’s education system.
“Providing a quality education to all children is the key to a long-term thriving economy,” Jones’ website said.
As one of the few openly pro-choice candidates, Jones supports “a woman’s freedom to choose what happens to her own body” because he believes it is a personal decision.
In an interview with the Tropolitan, Jones stressed the importance of young people registering and getting out to vote.
“It’s amazingly important (to register to vote), but more important now,” Jones said. “The key is getting them (the young generation) enthused.
“If they want change, they can do it.”
Joel Williams, campaign supporter and longtime friend of Jones, said he considers Jones to be the most competent candidate and believes Jones has a “realistic chance” to seal a win.
“This race is the centerpiece of conversation and appeals to every voter,” Williams said.
Elizabeth Miller, a junior English education major from Ashford who attended Jones’ campaign rally, said she is voting in the upcoming election.
“We don’t have special elections all that often, so it gives people an opportunity to learn about the Senate,” Miller said. “We also have an opportunity to balance out the parties.”
Alabama has not had a Democratic senator since 1987, when Richard Shelby ran as a Democrat before switching over to the Republican ticket, according to the U.S. Senate website. Republicans currently maintain a majority in the Senate, but Jones entering office would make the Republican-Democrat divide 51-49.
“The reputation of this state is based on its leaders,” said Jerry Williams, former head of the Troy University Alumni Association and leader of the local Democratic Party, in an interview.
“(It is) important to get qualified people who will work with leaders to us and the whole country.”
The Alabama special election is on Tuesday, Dec. 12.