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Alabama officially certifies Doug Jones as the victor in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race

Senator-elect Doug Jones was certified the winner of Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election Thursday afternoon after a judge rejected a last-ditch attempt by Jones’ Republican rival, Roy Moore, to block Jones’ win.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill, and Attorney General Steve Marshall certified the results just after 1 p.m., making Jones the official victor.

Democrat Jones beat Moore by 1.5 points, or 20,000 votes, in a down-to-the-wire race in mid-November, but Moore refused to concede. On Wednesday, Moore filed a lawsuit calling for the blocking of the official result, an investigation into the election for voter fraud, and for a new election.

The judge rejected that argument just thirty minutes before the results were officially certified.

Jones, who made a name for himself in Alabama politics by prosecuting the Klansmen behind the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, will be sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on January 3.

He’ll be replacing Republican Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat after Jeff Sessions left the Senate earlier this year to take the job of United States Attorney General.

With Jones in the Senate, the Republicans’ already narrow majority in the Senate inches down to 51-49. He’s the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate by Alabama in decades.

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