BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Senator-Elect Doug Jones says he still hasn't fully processed the last 48 hours. Jones is the first Alabama Democrat to be elected to the Senate in 25 years. He sat down exclusively with WHNT to reflect on the historic election night.
"Early on just (I was) kind of watching where things were going, I was getting pretty discouraged, a little bit. Then all the sudden those boxes just came in, and it was like somebody just flipped a switch. The next thing you know the whole Sheraton is just exploding with joy. It was amazing," said Jones.
He said that he didn't prepare speeches for election night. Instead, he thought about what he would say if he won, but not if he lost.
"Obviously, I didn`t say most of what I prepared, but it was okay. I guess that's one of the good things about being a trial lawyer, you can kind of think on your feet, and go with the flow," said Jones.
Throughout the campaign, many questioned if a Democrat could actually win a Senate seat in the deep-red state of Alabama. Jones says this isn't the first time he's proven people wrong.
"I heard that about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing case. I`ve heard that about a lot of things in my life over the years. I know this, you never can do anything, if you don't try," he said.
Jones told WHNT that he doesn't think a recount of the election is necessary. However, if it does happen, he trusts that Secretary of State John Merrill will do the right thing.
"I don't believe a recount is going to be necessary. I don't think under the law one will be necessary and based on what I'm seeing, we feel very comfortable in the outcome of the race," said Jones.
When asked about his opponent, Roy Moore not conceding, he said he didn't want to criticize anyone. However, he is hopeful that his campaign will soon move on.
"It's tough when you run a race. When you feel like you have supporters out there, and you owe it to them to do whatever you can to make sure before you do. I get all that. I just wish that we can move on. I think our campaign has been one about uniting and unifying and (he) needs to understand that his voters are my constituents. I'm going to be reaching out, and we're going to do all we can to make sure that I represent everybody in the state. So, I hope pretty soon that will be the message, and we can move forward," explained Jones.
The Senator-Elect surprised many people and political observers with his victory in Tuesday's special Senate election. Jones told WHNT that he thinks Alabama will be better having him in the minority party of the Senate.
"I think they actually gain by trying to have an Alabama voice within that caucus. I think it's important to make sure because you know, we've got that middle ground, which I think is an important place to be, not just in the country but in the United States Senate. So how an additional voice in the Senate along those lines, I think is going to be very helpful for the state. Because at the end of the day there's still a lot of negotiations. There's still a lot of things that have to be decided between the parties. That's what I want to do. I want to help bridge that. I think to work with Senator Shelby, who I have known for some many years, we can have a collective voice on many, many matters within our respective caucuses," explained Jones.
Jones says he plans on staying true to the Democratic base that elected him, while also working across the aisle with Republicans to help pass legislation.
"I think it's going to be a work in progress. I don't think that on the issues that are important to both sides of that aisle that there is that much of a difference. I really do not believe that. There are a lot of issues in this state that divide us. In those issues, I will probably have a number of disagreements with the people on the other side of the aisle. But, there is so much that we can do that is in common. Those are the issues that we want to focus on. And we are going to try and make sure that we do that, try to help all people. I think those are not easy. But I really have gotten I won't say concerned, but it's just a little off-putting to me, that everyone thinks that simply because you are elected under a particular party that you are going to always vote that way. That's not the case. I've got a constituency to take care of to try to reach out to all people," said Jones.