Roy Moore Loses Senate Bid, Looks To Recount

"It's not over."

Democrat Doug Jones is the apparent winner in the Alabama Senate race, beating controversial anti-LGBT Republican Roy Moore, NBC News is projecting. With 99% of the vote in, Jones lead 50%-48%, (673,236 votes to 652,300 votes). He will be the first Democrat Alabama has sent to the Senate in more than a quarter-century.

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But it appears he isn’t ready to call it a day: Moore told supporters at a Montgomery rally he’s looking to call for a recount: “It’s not over. That’s what we’ve got to do—wait on God and have this process play out.”

According to NBC, Jones’ margin of victory is too wide to trigger an automatic recount, but Moore could call for one if he pays for it himself. Undoubtedly his supporters—and Republicans looking to keep hold of Congress—will provide the funds.

The results were fueled, in part, by a strong turnout by minority voters: 96% of African-American voters backed Jones. Among black women, that percentage rose to 98%.

President Trump, who had offered praise for Moore after he edged out Luther Stranger in the primary, tweeted congratulations to Jones.

“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!”

Wednesday morning, the president insisted he initially backed Strange because he knew Moore “will not be able to win the General Election.” Nonetheless, Trump did record a robocall for the former state Supreme Court justice.

At a victory rally Jones thanked supporters helping him defy the odds: “I have been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say,” said the 63-year-old former prosecutor.

“This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency.”

Moore was a controversial candidate even before allegations of misconduct with teenage girls emerged: He was suspended as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (for the second time) after instructing judges to continue enforcing the state’s same-sex marriage ban months after Obergefell v. Hodges.

Previously he equated homosexuality with bestiality and warned same-sex marriage would “literally cause the destruction of our country.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.