Days before Doug Jones’ epic victory, prominent Black politicians like Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) rallied Black Alabama voters for Jones and endorsed him. Now that he’s won, what should Black Alabamians expect from Jones after pushing him across the finish line?
“We need someone who has the capacity to bring us together and not continue to divide people and Doug can do just that. That’s his life mission and calling,” Lewis told Newsweek.
The Democrat will represent a deep red state in the U.S. Senate. That will require balancing the demands of conservatives in his state and the expectations of the scores of African Americans who swept him into office. Jones comes to his new post with bona fide civil rights credentials after successfully prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members for their role in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four Black girls. Jones is a criminal justice reform advocate, according to his campaign website. He calls for more spending on education and less on prisons. The former federal prosecutor opposes Attorney General Jeff Session’s move toward rolling back sentencing reform efforts. When it comes to gun rights, Jones has described himself as a Second Amendment supporter who believes in limits.
Alabama’s so-called Black Belt, where African Americans live in dire poverty, needs resources. Jones advocates for a living wage, saying that people should not have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. He’s also on record opposing “tax breaks for the wealthy” but generally supports cutting corporate taxes. He brings another important Senate vote in opposition to the tax plan that President Donald Trump and Republican leaders are pushing through Congress. Jones also opposes the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he wants to see Obamacare improved.