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Doug Jones' future Senate colleagues prepare for his arrival

Democrat Doug Jones had only ...

Posted: Dec 13, 2017 8:40 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2017 8:40 AM

Democrat Doug Jones had only been projected the winner of a US Senate seat in Alabama for a few minutes Tuesday before his future Senate colleagues weighed in on the victory, including at least one Republican who wants his vote.

Sen. Cory Gardner, who chairs the Senate Republicans' campaign committee, urged Jones to vote with GOP members after his upset win that flipped a seat that had been reliably red for decades.

Moore's primary win had divided the GOP

Democrats, for their part, erupted with glee

"Tonight's results are clear -- the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the US Senate," the Colorado Republican said in a statement. "I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority."

Moore's primary win over appointed GOP Sen. Luther Strange had divided the party and Gardner had been a fierce critic of the Republican nominee. Under his leadership, the National Republican Senate Committee withdrew support for Moore after allegations of sexual abuse emerged last month from when Moore was in his 30s. Gardner himself called for Moore to be expelled from the Senate if he were to win the race.

A Senate GOP leadership aide told CNN that Moore's loss led to "relief that we don't have to deal with ethics and still amazed that the nominee was so bad we lost Alabama."

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who had donated to Jones' campaign and repeatedly urged Alabama voters to back the Democratic candidate, was one of the few Republicans who issued a comment shortly after the projection.

"Decency wins," the retiring Arizona senator simply tweeted.

Jones' victory will narrow the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49 when he takes office, which will most likely be in January. Once Jones is sworn in as a senator, he will hold the seat until the term expires in January 2021.

Democrats, for their part, erupted with glee.

"Thank you Alabama!" Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri tweeted, nearly simultaneously as news outlets began issuing news alerts projecting Jones as the winner.

"Hot DAMN," added Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

"ROLL TIDE," tweeted Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement that Jones was "a great candidate and will be an even better Senator."

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