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Doug Jones supporters “exuberant,” Democrats celebrate in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Pending certification of election results, Doug Jones is the presumed winner of Tuesday's election.

His supporters gathered at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel for a watch party that later became a celebration.

"This is exuberance tonight! Hallelujah!" said Sid Smyer following Jones' victory.

"We won! We won! We won this thing! Congratulations to Doug Jones and his staff. Hey, they worked hard to do this thing here!" exclaimed Lary Hayes. He added, "It was a miracle, but we did it!"

Hayes later clarified that he did see this result coming, though. He credited it to the effort many put into the campaign.

"We worked really hard. We worked really hard on this campaign. I'm proud of everybody."

Alabama Democrats also weighed in on Tuesday's decision.

Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley sent this statement to WHNT News 19:

"Tonight, the people of Alabama elected Doug Jones, a man of intelligence and character, to the United States Senate. Doug's hard work, crisscrossing the state for weeks on end, paid off in a great victory for working families and the "kitchen table" issues that voters care about. He will continue to work hard to protect jobs for Alabamians, good schools, affordable health care and justice for everyone in our state.

This is a great victory for all Alabamians, and a clear signal that Alabama Democrats will be on the offensive and ready to win in 2018."

Worley draws a connection between what happened Tuesday night and the future for the Alabama Democratic Party.

Others, too, felt a shift happening Wednesday.

Shea Rives of Birmingham said, "I'm very excited. I am super excited. This is something I have not seen in a long time in Alabama."

Rives is one of the many who has been working for the Doug Jones campaign and supporting it since the beginning. He said now, he knows that hard work has paid off.

"People are excited about electing a reasonable person to be a representative for the state of Alabama in Washington, D.C.," he said. "It has been amazing to watch people get behind him."

Rives has been a Democrat his whole life, and this is something he has been waiting for.

"As a Democrat in Alabama, you get used to kind of being beaten down," he said, "but you kind of always hope things can happen."

He added, "What I've seen today is absolutely amazing. It's magical. We won this!"

Rives said the energy worked for Jones. He shares Worley's confidence about the future for his party.

"It gives me hope for Democrats. It gives me hope for the state of Alabama. It gives me hope for the American political system," he said.