By: Olivia Wile
It has been quite a controversial year for politics. From the election of President Donald J. Trump to the recent election in Alabama, the race for office remains interesting.
Last month, Doug Jones was elected senator of Alabama. This is the first time in over 20 years the state has named a Democratic senator.
In addition to the transition in power of political parties, the election also accumulated quite the controversy as sexual assault allegations emerged against Republican Candidate Roy Moore. However, University of Findlay Professor of History Mark Polelle, Ph.D explains that such claims were not the only influence on the election.
“I think the controversy definitely had to do with the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore,” Polelle said. “Even if these did not come up, Moore was already a controversial figure in Alabama.”
According to the Fox News article, “Roy Moore’s sexual assault allegations cloud Alabama special Senate election,” the initial allegations against Moore accused him of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl while in his 30s. This lead to additional women coming forward with their own sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.
Though being asked by multiple leading Republicans to step down from his campaign, President Trump and Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon stood by him. Moore denied all claims and continued with the race.
"It seems that in the political arena, to say that something is not true is simply not good enough. So let me be clear. I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct," Moore remarked.
Along with Dr. Polelle, Fox states that Moore has been a controversial figure long before the allegations. In 2005, he stated that homosexual conducts should be illegal while also stating Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in Congress. Moore also supported the claims that former President Barack Obama was not born in America.
As Jones went on to defeat Moore by about 20,000 votes, the question lies what will be next for the state of Alabama with this change in senate.
“The long-term significance is that the Bannon wing of the party is weakened while the McConnell establishment wing of the GOP is strengthened when it comes to picking GOP candidates to run,” Polelle explained. “Jones will be in office two years before he is up for re-election.”