MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For decades, historians will look back and try to figure out how this happened; how Democrat Doug Jones won in the state of Alabama.
One of the state’s top officials says blame largely lies within the “Grand Ole Party.”
It took a long time for State Auditor Jim Zeigler to answer what he thought about the results of Tuesday’s election.
“I’m still thinking about trying to figure out what the significance is for the state of Alabama,” Zeigler finally said.
He asserts the blame may go back all the way to the Republican primary for the Senate seat. Zeigler declared back in August he was endorsing, what he calls “ABL.”
“Anybody but Luther and I set out the reasons why because he had been appointed by former Governor Bentley under very inappropriate circumstances,” he says.
When Senator Strange and Roy Moore made the runoff, Zeigler says the choice was made for him, considering both candidates. After that, Zeigler became a very vocal supporter and defender of Roy Moore. He still stands by his decision and disdain for Luther Strange.
“That was the last vestige of the Bentley administration and he needed to be put out by the vote of the people,” says Zeigler.
Zeigler wishes Bentley’s appointee would have been stronger and not appointed in what he calls a “corrupt process.” As for Senator Shelby’s push for a write-in candidate, his words were less forceful.
“There’s no way to tell if the write-in votes were caused by Senator Shelby’s example that he was doing a write-in vote, there’s no way we can know that,” he says.
Though Zeigler still couldn’t quite answer what he thought about Tuesday night’s results, the normally talkative State Auditor says – to those trying to make this about a referendum on President Trump or the Alabama GOP – you don’t know AL Politics.
“I don’t think it will have any effect on the 2018 Alabama state elections,” says Zeigler.
Alabama Republicans will have a chance to try this again – and soon. If the victory by Doug Jones stands, he will fill the remainder of Jeff Session’s old term that expires in two years.
We made several attempts to reach out to the Alabama Republican Party and Governor Kay Ivey, to get their take on the election results.
So far, no one has returned our calls.