Doug Jones (politician)
|United States Senator|
Assumed office |
January 3, 2018
Serving with Richard Shelby
|Preceded by||Luther Strange|
|United States Attorney for the |
Northern District of Alabama
September 8, 1997 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Claude Harris Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Alice Martin|
Gordon Douglas Jones|
May 4, 1954
Fairfield, Alabama, U.S.
Louise New (m. 1992)
University of Alabama (BS)|
Samford University (JD)
Gordon Douglas Jones (born May 4, 1954) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Alabama since 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously was a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001.
Jones was born in Fairfield, Alabama and is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. In 1997, Jones was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama by President Bill Clinton. During his tenure, Jones prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls. Additionally, he secured an indictment against Eric Rudolph, a domestic terrorist responsible for four politically motivated attacks, including the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing.
Jones was elected to the United States Senate in a 2017 special election following the resignation of Jeff Sessions to become U.S. Attorney General. After winning the Democratic primary in August, Jones went on to face former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in the general election. Claiming to represent a "New Alabama", Jones subsequently defeated Moore with roughly 50% of the vote on December 12, 2017, in what was described as an upset victory. At the time of the election, Moore was facing numerous sexual misconduct allegations, and some of the victims claimed that they were underage when Moore approached them. Jones will serve the remainder of Sessions' term, which expires in 2021.
Jones is the first Democrat to be elected to the United States Senate from Alabama since Richard Shelby in 1992, who then subsequently switched to the Republican Party in 1994. Upon his election, Jones became the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the United States Senate since Howell Heflin in 1997 and the first Democrat to win statewide office in Alabama since Lucy Baxley was elected President of the Alabama Public Service Commission in 2008.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 U.S. Attorney
- 3 Later legal career
- 4 U.S. Senate
- 5 Political positions
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Doug Jones was born in Fairfield, Alabama, to Gordon and Gloria Jones. His father worked at U.S. Steel, and his mother was a homemaker. Jones graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 1976, and earned his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1979. He is a member of Beta Theta Pi.
He began his career by working as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Democratic Senator Howell Heflin from Alabama. Jones then worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1980 to 1984 before resigning to work at a private law firm in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1984 to 1997.
President Bill Clinton announced on August 18, 1997, his intent to appoint Jones as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and formally nominated Jones to the post on September 2, 1997. On September 8, 1997, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama appointed Jones as interim U.S. Attorney. The Senate confirmed Jones' nomination on November 8, 1997, by voice vote.
In January 1998, Eric Rudolph bombed the New Woman All Women Health Care Center in Birmingham. Jones became responsible for coordinating the state and federal task force in the aftermath, and advocated for Rudolph to be tried first in Birmingham before being extradited and tried in Georgia for his crimes in that state, such as the Centennial Olympic Park bombing.
16th Street Baptist Church bombing case
Jones prosecuted Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry, two members of the Ku Klux Klan, for their roles in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. The case was reopened the year before Jones was appointed, but did not pick up traction until his appointment. A federal grand jury was called in 1998 which piqued the attention of Cherry's ex-wife, Willadean Cherry, and led her to call the FBI to report her testimony. Willadean then introduced Jones to family and friends who reported their own experiences from the time of the bombing. A key piece of evidence was a tape from the time of the bombing in which Blanton stated that he had plotted with others to make the bomb. Jones was deputized in order to argue in state court and was able to indict Blanton and Cherry in 2000. Blanton was found guilty in 2001, and Cherry was found guilty in 2002. Both Blanton and Cherry were sentenced to life in prison. Blanton was up for parole in 2016, at which Jones spoke in opposition to his potential release. Blanton's parole was denied. Cherry died in prison in 2004.
Later legal career
Jones left office in 2001 and returned to private practice. In 2004, he was court-appointed General Special Master in an environmental clean-up case involving Monsanto in Anniston, Alabama. In 2007 Jones was honored with the 15th Anniversary Civil Rights Distinguished Service Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Also in 2007, Jones testified before the United States House Committee on the Judiciary about the importance of re-examining crimes of the Civil Rights Era. He created the Birmingham firm Jones & Hawley, PC with longtime friend Greg Hawley in 2013. He was named one of B-Metro Magazine's Fusion Award winners in 2015. In 2017 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama chapter of the Young Democrats of America.
On May 11, 2017, Jones announced his candidacy for that year's U.S. Senate special election, running for the seat left open when Jeff Sessions was appointed as Attorney General. Sessions, a Republican, had held the Senate seat since being elected in 1996, when Democrat Howell Heflin chose not to run for re-election, and had kept it through three re-elections. Jones won the Democratic nomination in August, and became the Senator-elect for Alabama after defeating Republican former Alabama Supreme Court judge Roy Moore in the general election on December 12, 2017.
Jones received 673,896 votes (50.0%) to Moore's 651,972 votes (48.3%) with 22,852 write-in votes (1.7%). After the election, Moore refused to concede. He filed a lawsuit attempting to block the state from certifying the election and calling for an investigation into voter fraud, as well as a new election. On December 28, 2017, a judge dismissed this lawsuit and state officials certified the election results, officially declaring Jones the winner.
Jones was sworn in on January 3, 2018, and his term will run through January 3, 2021, the remaining balance of Sessions' term. He is the first Democrat to represent the state in the U.S. Senate in 21 years, and the first elected in 25. Jones was one of five Democratic senators who voted for the continuing resolution that failed to pass and consequently led to the United States federal government shutdown of 2018. According Morning Consult, which polls approval ratings of senators, as of July 25, 2018, Jones sits with a 45% approval rating, with 28% disapproving. This is close to Jones' fellow senator, Republican Richard Shelby, who sits with a 48% approval rating with 30% disapproving.
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Special Committee on Aging
The editorial board of The Birmingham News has described Jones as a "moderate Democrat." Former Alabama Democratic Party chair Giles Perkins described Jones as "a moderate, middle-of-the-road guy." Describing his own views, Jones said that “If you look at the positions I've got on health care, if you look at the positions I [have] got on jobs, you should look at the support I have from the business community; I think I’m pretty mainstream." Jones' campaign has emphasized "kitchen table" issues such as healthcare and the economy. He has called for bipartisan solutions to those issues, and pledged to "find common ground" between both sides of the aisle. Senator Jones said that people should not "expect [him] to vote solidly for Republicans or Democrats". According to FiveThirtyEight, which tracks Congressional votes, Senator Jones has voted with President Trump's position 50% of the time as of July 2018.
Jones supports the reversal of mandatory three-strikes laws for non-violent offenses to give judges flexibility in giving sentences. Jones opposed both immigration bills that were proposed in the Senate since he entered office.
Doug Jones is pro-choice on the issue of abortion. However, in 2017 Jones was endorsed by the Campaign for Working Families which is a pro-life PAC. In 2018, Planned Parenthood, which is pro-choice, gave Jones a 100% rating while the anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee gave him a 0% rating. Jones voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the pregnant woman's health. He also pledged to support Planned Parenthood as a Senator.
Jones supports some gun control measures including "tighter background checks for gun sales and to raise the age requirement to purchase a gun from 18 to 21." However, Jones said that he does not support an assault weapons ban and that such a ban could not pass Congress. Jones is himself a gun owner.
Jones is supportive of same-sex marriage and said that his son Carson, who is gay, helped to change his views. In 2017, he was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign which supports LGBT rights. Jones supports protections for transgender students and transgender troops.
In an interview with The Birmingham News, Jones said he favored increasing defense spending, saying it would boost Alabama's local economy, particularly in the areas around NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, and would protect the United States from foreign threats.
Jones voted in favor of Mike Pompeo's confirmation as Secretary of State, joining with Republicans and five other Democratic Senators. However, he opposed Gina Haspel's nomination to be CIA director.
Jones has been described as an economic populist by Newsweek. Jones was one of five Democrats who voted for the Republican budget deal in January 2018. He also was one of 17 Democrats to break with the majority of their party and vote with Republicans in favor of a bill to ease banking regulations. Jones opposes the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
On health care, Jones opposes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but has called for changes to the U.S. health-care system, which he calls broken. He supports the re-authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and, during his senatorial campaign, he repeatedly criticized his opponent for his lack of a clear stance on the program. Jones says he is open to the idea of a public option, but that he is "not there yet" on single-payer healthcare. In January 2018, Jones was one of six Democrats to join with most Republicans in voting to confirm Alex Azar, Trump's nominee for HHS Secretary.
Jones has not called for tax increases; he has called for reductions in corporate taxes "to try to get reinvestment back into this country". Jones opposed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the GOP's tax plan, calling it fiscally irresponsible, and skewed to the wealthy while ignoring or hurting the middle class.
Jones married Louise New on December 12, 1992, and they have three children. He has been a member of the Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook for more than 33 years. Jones also serves on the Advisory Board of the Blackburn Institute, a leadership development and civic engagement program at The University of Alabama.
|Democratic||Robert Kennedy Jr.||29,215||17.7|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
- "Birmingham lawyer and former Clinton appointee Doug Jones seeks Democratic nomination for Senate". AL.com. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- Chandler, Kim; Peoples, Steve (December 13, 2017). "Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- Jacobs, Ben; Smith, David (2017-12-13). "Alabama election: Democrats triumph over Roy Moore in major blow to Trump". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
- Chan, Tara Francis (December 12, 2017). "The last Democrat to win an Alabama Senate race later became a Republican — and did not vote for Roy Moore". Business Insider. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Meet Doug Jones": "Doug's parents, Gordon and Gloria Jones, live in Birmingham and his sister Terrie Savage and her husband Scott live in Hartselle". Doug Jones for Senate. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Sack, Kevin (May 5, 2001), "PUBLIC LIVES; An Alabama Prosecutor Confronts the Burden of History", The New York Times, retrieved May 18, 2017
- Cobb, Martin. "Brother Senator". The Beta Theta Pi (Spring 2018). p. 10. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- Gray, Jeremy (May 11, 2017). "Doug Jones announces run for US Senate". The Birmingham News. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Murnaghan. "Douglas Jones" (PDF). Public Justice. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "President Clinton today announced his intent to nominate G. Douglas Jones to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama" (Press release). White House Office of the Press Secretary. August 18, 1997.
- Panel Discussion: Criminal Discovery In Practice, 15 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 781, 782 n.2 (1999).
- Verhoevek, John (September 27, 2017). "Meet the Alabama Senate candidates: Controversial gun-toting judge Roy Moore and a lawyer who fought the KKK". ABC News.
- "Bombing Suspect Eric Rudolph Indicted". ABC News. November 15, 2000. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Gettlman, Jeffrey (June 3, 2003). "Bombing Suspect Is Moved to Alabama, for Trial There First". The New York Times.
- Sack, Kevin (April 25, 2001). "As Church Bombing Trial Begins in Birmingham, the City's Past Is Very Much Present". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (September 14, 2013). "Prosecutor reflects on 50th anniversary of 1963 Birmingham bombing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Faulk, Kent (August 3, 2016). "16th Street Baptist Church bomber Thomas Blanton denied parole". The Birmingham News. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Lamb, Yvonne (November 19, 2004). "Birmingham Bomber Bobby Frank Cherry Dies in Prison at 74". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Faulk, Kent (June 7, 2013). "Birmingham attorneys Doug Jones and Greg Hawley form law firm". AL.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "Doug Jones: Justice Delayed, not Justice Denied". University of Kentucky Law School. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "About Doug Jones". Seeking Justice Today. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "Federal prosecutor to speak at black history group's banquet". Texarkana Gazette. January 26, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "Testimony of G. Douglas Jones" (PDF). U.S. House Judiciary Committee. June 12, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "Testimony of G. Douglas Jones-"Allegations of Selective Prosecution: The Erosion of Public Confidence in our Federal Judicial System"" (PDF). Subcommittee on Commercial & Administration Law of the Committee on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. October 23, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- O'Donnell, Joe (October 1, 2015). "2015 Fusion Awards". B-Metro Magazine. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Scott, Ryan (June 27, 2017). "Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones launches campaign headquarters in Birmingham". Weld Birmingham. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- Gray, Jeremy (May 10, 2017). "Doug Jones announces run for US Senate". The Birmingham News. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
- Bloch, Matthew; Lee, Jasmine (August 15, 2017). "Alabama Election Results: Two Republicans Advance, Democrat Wins in U.S. Senate Primaries". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Matthew Bloch, Nate Cohn, Josh Katz & Jasmine Lee, Alabama Election Results: Doug Jones Defeats Roy Moore in U.S. Senate Race, New York Times (December 12, 2017).
- Kaitlan Collins (December 15, 2017). "Trump and Steve Bannon urge Roy Moore to concede". CNN.
- Nelson, Louis (December 28, 2017). "Roy Moore loses lawsuit seeking new election". Politico. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Weigel, David; Sullivan, Sean (2018-01-03). "Doug Jones is sworn in, shrinking GOP Senate majority". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "The Latest: Moore not conceding Senate race to Jones". ABC News. Associated Press. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Alabama Elects Doug Jones, The State's First Democratic Senator In 25 Years". Huffington Post. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- "Doug Jones swearing-in: Watch live as Senate seats new Alabama member". AL.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- Lee, Jasmine C. (2018). "How Every Senator Voted on the Government Shutdown". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
- Easley, Cameron (July 25, 2018). "America's Most and Least Popular Senators". Morning Consult. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- WALA, Webstaff; Sullivan, Sean (2018-01-09). "Sen. Doug Jones appointed to 4 Senate committees". Fox 10 TV. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
- "Our view: Alabama voters must reject Roy Moore; we endorse Doug Jones for U.S. Senate". AL.com. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- "Doug Jones, Roy Moore's opponent in Alabama, on verge of history in Senate election". The Washington Times. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Pappas, Alex (November 18, 2017). "Alabama Democrat Doug Jones denies being an 'ultra-liberal,' says he opposes Trump's border wall". Fox News Channel. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Sharp, John (October 18, 2017). "Doug Jones talks 'kitchen table' issues and tax reform at Mobile rally". AL.com.
- Lyman, Brian (July 7, 2017). "Alabama Senate profile: Doug Jones wants to stress 'kitchen table issues'". Montgomery Advertiser.
- "Democrats weigh how to best help Alabama Senate candidate". ABC News. November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "Doug Jones, Roy Moore talk law enforcement in Montgomery stops". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "Transcript: An interview with Doug Jones". The Economist. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- Yen, Hope. "Doug Jones says don't expect him to always side with Senate Democrats". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
- Bycoffe, Aaron (2017-01-30). "Tracking Doug Jones In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
- "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump | Doug Jones". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- "Doug Jones' Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org.
- "Senate rejects 20-week abortion ban; GOP criticizes Jones vote". AL.com. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- Holter, Lauren. "Doug Jones Has Made His Stance On Abortion Crystal Clear". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- Connolly, Griffin; Connolly, Griffin (2018-03-05). "Alabama Ready for More Gun Control, Sen. Doug Jones Says". Roll Call. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- Sanchez, Luis (2018-04-01). "Democrat: A gun ban is not 'feasible right now'". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "'It is time': Doug Jones calls on Senate to unite on stemming gun violence in floor speech". AL.com. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Alabama Sen. Doug Jones Says Gay Son Led Him to Be More Pro-LGBT". Advocate. April 12, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Graef, Aileen; Kenny, Caroline. "Who is Doug Jones, who just won in Alabama?". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
- Gattis, Paul (November 8, 2017). "Doug Jones: Strong national defense 'incredibly important'". AL.com.
- "Doug Jones opposes Trump's CIA nominee | Alabama Daily News". Alabama Daily News. 2018-05-16. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
- "Who is Doug Jones, the KKK-fighting Democrat taking on far-right Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race?". Newsweek. September 27, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- "Sen. Doug Jones votes for Republican-backed budget deal". AL.com. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- Schoen, Jacob Pramuk, John W. (2018-03-15). "Why 17 Democrats voted with Republicans to ease bank rules". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Sen. Doug Jones tweets back at Trump: Tariffs are the 'worst'". AL.com. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
- Gattis, Paul (November 6, 2017). "Doug Jones pledges to 'fix broken health care' in new Senate campaign ad". AL.com.
- Lyman, Brian (November 8, 2017). "Doug Jones, Roy Moore talk law enforcement in Montgomery stops". Montgomery Advertiser.
- News, ABC. "Senate confirms Alex Azar as Trump's new health secretary". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- "Donald Trump wrongly claims Doug Jones wants to raise taxes". PolitiFact. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "Meet Doug Jones": "Doug is married to the former Louise New from Cullman, Alabama. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary the night of the Special Election in December". Doug Jones for Senate. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Jones, Doug (August 16, 2017). "Meet Doug Jones". Doug Jones for Senate. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Garrison, Greg (September 28, 2017). "Son of a steelworker, Doug Jones works to connect with Alabama voters". AL.com. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
- "Advisory Board - Blackburn Institute". Blackburn Institute. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- "2017 Official General Election Results without Write-In Appendix - 2017-12-28.pdf" (PDF). Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Who got the most write-in votes in Alabama's Senate race? Nick Saban makes top 7". Al.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- Senator Doug Jones official U.S. Senate website
- Doug Jones for Senate
- Doug Jones at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN
Claude Harris Jr.
| United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama
|Party political offices|
No nominee in 2014
Vivian Davis Figures in 2008
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Alabama
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Alabama
Served alongside: Richard Shelby
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority
|115th||Senate: R. Shelby • J. Sessions (until Feb. 2017) • L. Strange (from Feb. 2017 until Jan. 2018) • D. Jones (from Jan. 2018)||House: R. Aderholt • M. Rogers • M. Brooks • M. Roby • T. Sewell • B. Byrne • G. Palmer|