Moore refuses to concede Alabama Senate race

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) refused to concede the special election Tuesday night after multiple media outlets called the race in favor of his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

“At this point, we do not have a final decision on the outcome tonight,” Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead told supporters.

“When the vote is this close, it is not over,” Moore said.

Alabama state law requires an automatic recount when election results are within 0.5 percent.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones holds 49.9 percent of the vote, compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent, a 1.5 percent gap, according to The New York Times.

Shortly after Moore’s speech, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he expected “anything other than Mr. Jones being the next senator from the state of Alabama.”

“I would find that highly unlikely to occur, Jake,” Merrill replied.

Moore’s speech followed an exuberant speech from Jones to his supporters in Birmingham, where he told his supporters his campaign was about “finding common ground” and that Alabamians led by example in showing the rest of the country how to be united.

“I have said throughout this campaign that I thought Dec. 12 was going to be a historic day,” Jones said.

Jones also noted Tuesday’s election fell on the same day as his 25th wedding anniversary, calling out his wife to cheers from supporters.

Jones’ stunning victory to become the first Democratic Senator elected in Alabama in 25 years follows a turbulent campaign to fill the seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore was accused of sexual misconduct last month by multiple women, including one woman who alleged Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s.

Moore denied the allegations, but lost endorsements from several sitting Republican Senators and saw the Senate GOP’s campaign arm drop its support for him.

President Trump offered full-throated support for Moore, holding a rally near Alabama’s border to fire up supporters, recording a robo-call in support of Moore and using his Twitter to attack Jones as a “Schumer/Pelosi puppet.”

But Jones’ victory deals a blow to Trump and Senate Republicans, whose advantage in the Senate shrinks to a 51-49 margin.

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