Jones, 63, had by no means run for workplace earlier than throwing his hat into the ring in Alabama — and as a believer in local weather change and abortion rights was initially given no likelihood within the solidly Republican state, the place President Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 28 factors.
In defeating the Republican Roy Moore — whose marketing campaign was dogged by claims of sexual misconduct — Jones turns into the primary Democrat since 1992 to hold a Senate race in Alabama, handing a significant increase to the beleaguered US opposition occasion.
The previous US lawyer earned his fame with the profitable prosecution of two members of the Ku Klux Klan for a 1963 dynamite assault on a black church in Birmingham, Alabama.
The notorious Sunday morning bombing of the 16th Avenue Baptist Church, which left 4 younger ladies lifeless, helped provoke help for the civil rights motion and got here simply months after Martin Luther King Jr was arrested for organizing non-violent protests towards racial segregation in Birmingham.
Jones was a prosecutor in a pair of circumstances introduced practically 40 years later which led to the conviction of two of the white supremacists behind the assault.
Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton have been sentenced to life in jail for his or her roles within the September 15, 1963 church bombing.
“Justice could have been delayed, but it surely was definitely not denied,” Jones stated of the case, which he known as “probably the most tarnishing crime in Alabama within the 20th century.”
Whereas Jones was plainly the underdog on the outset of the race to succeed Jeff Classes, who left his Senate seat vacant when appointed Trump’s lawyer normal, his Republican rival was a polarizing determine in Alabama.
Moore was compelled to step down twice from the state supreme courtroom, the second time for disobedience to the US Supreme Court docket’s ruling legalizing homosexual marriage.
And Jones’ electoral fortunes modified dramatically when The Washington Publish reported that Moore had allegedly preyed on teenage ladies when he was a district lawyer in his 30s — allegations denied by the now 70-year-old former choose.
Democratic donors from across the nation started pouring cash into the race, shopping for tv ads for Jones and searching for to mobilize African-American voters, who make up a few quarter of the citizens within the state.
Former vp Joe Biden made an look at a Jones rally in in Birmingham in October and president Barack Obama pitched in with a robo-call for voters.
“This one’s severe. You possibly can’t sit it out,” Obama stated.
Born in Fairfield, Alabama, the son of a steelworker, Jones attended highschool when the state was within the midst of court-ordered desegregation of its excessive colleges.
He grew to become an assistant US lawyer in Birmingham in 1980 and was named US lawyer for the northern district of Alabama in 1997 by former president Invoice Clinton.
Jones and his spouse, Louise, have three youngsters and two grandchildren.