Democrat Sen. Doug Jones, who was elected in a controversial special election in December 2017, spoke in Hamilton recently.
While it is doubtful that we—and the large majority of our readership, for that matter—agree with all the policies supported by Jones, we respect and appreciate Jones’ efforts to hear the people of Marion County. It is an honor to have a sitting U.S. senator come to Hamilton.
Marion County is a deep-red county with practically no Democrat representation in local or state offices. A constable is the only Democrat currently in office.
No Democrats were elected in the county during the 2018 elections—an election where 88% of straight-party votes were given to the Republican Party. In 2016, Marion County gave Donald Trump 86% of the vote. It also resides in Alabama’s 4th Congressional District, which supported Trump with the highest margin of any other district nationwide (80%).
This is no mystery to Jones and his staff, and yet the senator made a point to visit the county where 79% percent of its residents favored his 2017 opponent, Republican candidate Roy Moore. No matter your political affiliations, it has to be admitted that the effort to schedule and conduct this town hall meeting is honorable and gutsy.
Jones full-well knew he was walking into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and was probably expecting pointed questions, which he got and did not shy away from. Jones was respectful in his answers, made his case and both he and those with questions were content to agree to disagree.
The Democrat senator used the opportunity to stress one over-arching message he likely hopes will gain him ground in the Yellowhammer State: He’s willing and able to work across the aisle for the good of the state.
We will have to wait for 2020 to see if his message is convincing for Marion County and Alabama voters.