Roy Moore still won’t concede defeat.
Although Democrat Doug Jones was named the shock winner of Alabama’s Senate special election on Tuesday, Moore refuses to admit that the campaign has ended.
“I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country,” the 70-year-old former judge, who was plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct, said in a video to supporters on Wednesday night. “We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity. And the battle rages on.”
“In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots. This has been a very close race and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state,” Moore continued.
When multiple news outlets reported Jones’ victory, Moore told supporters at his election rally that he would seek a recount.
“When the vote is this close, it’s not over,” he said.
According to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, Jones received 49.92 percent of the vote and Moore got 48.38 percent with all counties reporting, a difference of about 1.5 percentage points. An automatic recount is triggered under state law only when a race is within half a percentage point.
Merrill, a Moore supporter, said it was very unlikely that a recount or uncounted ballots ― including the military and provisional ballots Moore referred to in the video ― would change the outcome of the election.
“Even if all [servicemembers from Alabama] voted and all of them voted for Moore, Jones would still have a lead of 0.9 percentage points,” The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Jones said both the president and Alabama Sen. Luther Strange had made “very gracious” phone calls, commending him on the win. The senator-elect told reporters that Trump had invited him to the White House “as soon as I get up there,” Politico reported.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose bid for the GOP presidential nomination in both 2008 and 2016 ended unsuccessfully, implored Moore to “exit with class.”
Jones, the first Democratic senator from Alabama in 25 years, confirmed on Wednesday that Moore had yet to call him to concede the race, but refused to comment on whether his opponent should do so.
“I’m going to leave that to him,” Jones said, per Politico.