MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Even though the election results have not yet been certified, those who supported Doug Jones see Tuesday night as a victory and as an opportunity.
After Jones declared victory, supporters say the energy they saw for him was "awe-inspiring." Shea Rives says that "It gives me hope for Democrats. It gives me hope for the state of Alabama."
Many Jones supporters we have spoken with say this win means hope for the Democratic party's continued strength in Alabama. Some, including a Democrat running for governor, feel emboldened by the momentum.
Gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa hopes for his sake, the voters' motivation continues. "Certainly for Democrats, success can create more success."
Maddox has now seen a candidate from his party become an assumed winner in a statewide race, calling it "proof" a Democrat can win here.
Maddox says they feel emboldened by this, and he wants to capitalize on it "You now have a lot of people who are active and energized, and they're going to be looking to continue that path."
Maddox also noted that Democrats in Alabama have to take what happened Tuesday and learn from it. "What Doug did, and it's extraordinary considering the short time frame. What he put in place in terms of turning out millennial voters, turning out voters across many different demographics, we are certainly going to have to model that."
But Republicans will be studying this senate race, too. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, also vying for governor said, "As a government leader I will continue... working respectfully with leadership in Congress for the betterment of our city, region, and state - and that includes working with people from all parties for the common good."
We have learned that Mayor Battle also congratulated Jones.
Jones' "win" is also seen as a chance to improve democratic party infrastructure as a whole, to prepare the way for a tough fight in 2018. The Alabama Gubernatorial Election is next November with a primary set for June.