Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he told Doug Jones after winning the U.S. Senate special election in Alabama to simply be an “Alabama Democrat” and to keep Alabama’s priorities first, regardless of party affiliation.
“I just told Doug be an Alabama Democrat. You don't have to be a Washington Democrat. Whatever you do, make sure Alabama's first and foremost on your mind,” Manchin told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “You can go home and explain it, or you can go home and vote for it. No matter it's a Democrat idea or Richard Shelby has a good idea, if it's a Republican idea but works good for Alabama, do it.”
Sen. Joe Manchin on the Doug Jones win: "This speaks volumes for what we call the radical middle — those of us still in the moderate middle, centrist Democrats" https://t.co/IBlAKTGYsd https://t.co/ouLwCQIELT— CNN (@CNN) December 13, 2017
Manchin was referring to Alabama’s other senator when he mentioned Republican Richard Shelby.
Manchin himself is widely viewed as a centrist from a state that voted heavily in favor of President Trump in 2016.
Jones is the first Democrat to be elected to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate since 1992, when Shelby won re-election. Shelby eventually switched to the Republican Party.
Jones and his GOP challenger Roy Moore, who was facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, were campaigning to fill the Alabama Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the remainder of Sessions' term until Jan. 2021. Luther Strange, who ran against Moore in the Republican primary, has filled the seat in the interim.
Moore declined to concede the Senate race Tuesday night after Jones had been declared the victor and is calling for a recount.