Results for Alabama’s special election primary are in.
Since no Republican candidate received 50% of the vote, the two highest contenders will now go head to head in a September 26 runoff.
That means former Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court Roy Moore and Senator Luther Strange will battle it out to see who will be the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The Primary Numbers
While Strange was endorsed by President Donald Trump, he was unable to overcome a runoff with Moore, who rallied his evangelical voters, even after being twice removed from the judicial bench.
Moore received about 38.9 percent, or 162,570 votes, to Strange’s 32.8 percent, or 136,910 votes during Tuesday’s GOP primary, according to The New York Times. Rep. Mo Brooks finished third with 19.7 percent, or 82,363 votes.
With 65.6 percent, or 104,549 votes, Doug Jones won the Democrat primary nomination. He beat out seven other candidates, benefiting from name recognition as the former U.S. attorney who convicted two of the remaining perpetrators of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
Jones was endorsed by prominent Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden, civil rights icon and U.S. Representative John Lewis and Alabama Congresswoman, Terri Sewell.
According to WSFA, Jones said he was surprised to come out so far ahead of Robert Kennedy Jr., who came in second place with 19% of the vote.
“We were hoping for a runoff. I think the reputation with my job as U.S. attorney, I think I will be able to have the immediate respect freshmen senators don’t have.”
Former Governor Robert Bentley appointed Strange to the Senate seat in February after then Senator Jeff Sessions was appointed by President Trump as U.S. Attorney General. Bentley scheduled a special election to coincide with the 2018 election cycle, with the primary in June and general election in November. He then resigned from the Governor’s office after a sex scandal. After Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey was sworn in a governor, she changed the primary date by signing a declaration, saying that she was steadying the ship of state, according to Alabama state law.
“This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement U.S. Senator as soon as possible,” Ivey said in a press release.
The runoff winner will face Jones in a December 12 election.