Republican Roy Moore refused to concede Alabama’s Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones late Tuesday night, saying the “vote is not over.”
Less than an hour after Jones took the stage at his victory party to thank supporters for what media projected would be the first Democratic win of an Alabama U.S. Senate seat in 25 years, Moore, at his own party, cited a state law that would automatically trigger a recount for any race within a half a percentage point. As of late Tuesday night, Jones was leading by about 1.5 percentage points, according to the Associated Press, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Moore said several ballots, including those from the military, had not yet been counted.
“Realize when the vote is this close it is not over,” Moore told supporters.
CNN reported that Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said that the margin was not close enough to trigger a recount, and military votes were unlikely to change that.
John Merrill, secretary of state for Alabama, tells CNN the margin is not close enough to trigger a recount. Says "unlikely" military ballots would change outcome, but might decrease margin.
— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) December 13, 2017
The Associated Press and several other news outlets had called the election for Jones around 9:25 p.m., more than two hours before Moore spoke.
In a tweet earlier Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump, who lent support to Moore amid sexual misconduct allegations about his behavior toward teenage girls decades ago, congratulated Jones.
Trump said “a win is a win,” adding that Republicans would have another shot at the seat.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
Jones will fill the seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions last year when Trump nominated him for attorney general. The term extends to 2021.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.
More coverage from Alabama:
- How Doug Jones won Alabama
- Who is Doug Jones, Alabama’s new U.S. senator?
- Democrat Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race
- WATCH: Democrat Doug Jones speaks after victory in Alabama Senate race
- What Alabama voters are saying as they head to the polls
- For many Alabama voters, Roy Moore is still the ‘lesser of two evils’