Who is Doug Jones? Meet the Democrat who upset the Alabama Senate race

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Who is Alabama's Doug Jones?
Doug Jones was elected as Alabama's first Democratic senator since 1992.

In a shocking upset, Democrat Doug Jones is projected to become the U.S. senator-elect for the state of Alabama, defeating Republican Roy Moore. The state has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Richard Shelby was re-elected in 1992. Shelby later became a Republican and still serves in that seat.

"Doug Jones is a man of character and integrity who is unafraid to stand up for what's right and has a proven record of independence that will serve Alabama families in the U.S. Senate," DSCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen wrote in a statement Tuesday night.

So, who is the new politician that carried the deeply conservative state?

Gordon Douglas Jones, known as Doug, studied political science at the University of Alabama, followed by law at the state's Samford University in 1979. He rose to prominence in 1997, when Bill Clinton named him US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

Five years later, Jones served as the lead prosecutor against two of the four Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in September 1963. Jones is a civil rights activist and a supporter of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

With a month left in the campaign, the Washington Post reported on the stories of four women who accused Moore of preying on them as teenagers, including one woman who said she was 14 at the time, when Moore was a prosecutor in his 30s. Additional allegations followed, upending the race. Although Trump supported him until the race ended, he later tweeted Moore's loss vindicated his endorsement of Luther Strange in the primary election.

Until Jones is actually sworn in and takes office -- which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said likely will occur in January -- Republican Luther Strange will remain in the seat, and the GOP will retain its 52-48 lead in the Senate.