BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As Democratic senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker made their last push for votes Monday, the contentious and at times bitterness of the race conjured memories of one that Alabamians were facing exactly five years ago.
This time in 2017, Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Judge Roy Moore were dishing it out to win the special election to fill a senate seat in Alabama. They spoke with CBS42 and shared their reaction to Georgia’s Senate runoff race as well as how that race compared to their own.
“It is a real battle … In Georgia and the South and Alabama, we’re very tribal. People put on their team jerseys, and that’s who they end up going out and voting for,” Jones said. “Herschel Walker is a flawed candidate that was selected by Donald Trump, and he clearly, in my opinion, does not have what it takes to be a United States senator.”
“They’re all bitter races because of the party spirit and rivalry between the Democrats and the Republicans … They’ll take every tactic they can to win. I think it’s the sign of the times, politics is corrupt, there’s a lot of false things going on in politics, and they all happen to appear right before the election,” Moore said.
In December 2017, ultimately, Jones was elected senator with a nail-biting 50 percent of the vote compared to Moore’s 48 percent. It was a historic and surprise victory given Alabama’s red stronghold.
Moore still disputes the integrity of that race, as he does now with Georgia’s, along with the “last-minute accusations” lobbied against him.
“I don’t have any faith in a lot of the elections going on,” Moore said.
Conversely, Jones said in both his race and the current Georgia race, the Republican candidates don’t live up to the standards of the office.
“[Both races are] similar in the sense that you have flawed candidates nominated by the Republican Party, nominated by Republican voters,” Jones said.
Moore didn’t predict a victor in Georgia on Tuesday, but Jones said he feels confident Sen. Warnock will win re-election as long as people vote for the person rather than the party.
“It’s difficult to get those voters out now, but I think that Raphael Warnock will be able to prevail … We don’t have to flip states blue, they don’t even have to be real deep purple, but we need to have a competitive two-party system for states to flourish,” Jones said.