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Doug Jones officially certified winner of Alabama Senate race

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Democrat Doug Jones was officially certified as the winner of the Alabama Senate race. Jones is the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race in Alabama in 25 years. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Alabama officials certified Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the Alabama Senate special election on Thursday despite an 11th-hour appeal from Republican Roy Moore to block certification of the election results.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill, and Attorney General Steve Marshall met in Montgomery to officially declare Jones the state's new senator.

He is the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race in Alabama in 25 years.

“I am looking forward to going to work for the people of Alabama in the new year,” Jones said in a statement. “As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation. I will be an independent voice and work to find common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get Washington back on track and fight to make our country a better place for all.”

Jones defeated Moore by 21,924 votes in the Dec. 12 election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., was appointed to hold the seat in the interim.

Moore refused to concede the race and filed a complaint in court Thursday calling for the certification to be postponed.

Moore’s campaign said he wanted an investigation into potential voter fraud, but a judge denied the request just before state election officials met.

According to the state, more than 1.3 million Alabama residents voted in the special election.