Gordon Douglas Jones (born May 4, 1954) is an American attorney, former prosecutor and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Alabama since 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, he was a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001.
Jones was born in Fairfield, Alabama, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. After law school, he worked as a congressional staffer and as a federal prosecutor before moving to private practice. In 1997 President Bill Clinton appointed Jones as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Jones's most prominent cases were the successful prosecution of two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls and the indictment of domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph. He returned to private practice at the conclusion of Clinton's presidency in 2001.
Jones announced his candidacy for United States Senate in the 2017 special election following the resignation of Republican incumbent Jeff Sessions to become U.S. Attorney General. After winning the Democratic primary in August, he faced former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in the general election. Jones was considered a long-shot candidate in a deeply Republican state. A month before the election, Moore was alleged to have sexually assaulted and otherwise acted inappropriately with several women, including some who were minors at the time. Jones won the special election by 22,000 votes, 50%â€“48%.
Jones is the first Democrat to win statewide office in Alabama since Lucy Baxley was elected President of the Alabama Public Service Commission in 2008. Democrats had not represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate since 1997, when Howell Heflin left office. Richard Shelby was elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1992 but switched to the Republican Party after the 1994 Republican Revolution, when the party won a majority of seats in both chambers of Congress; Shelby was the last Democrat to win a statewide federal election in Alabama until Jones did.
The editorial board of The Birmingham News has described Jones as a "moderate Democrat". Former Alabama Democratic Party chair Giles Perkins described Jones as "a moderate, middle-of-the-road guy". Describing his own views, Jones said: "If you look at the positions I've got on health care, if you look at the positions I got on jobsâ€”you should look at the support I have from the business communityâ€”I think I'm pretty mainstream." Jones's campaign has emphasized "kitchen-table" issues such as healthcare and the economy. He has called for bipartisan solutions to those issues and pledged to "find common ground" between both major parties. Jones said that people should not "expect [him] to vote solidly for Republicans or Democrats". During his campaign, he had supporters from both parties, including Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. According to FiveThirtyEight, which tracks Congressional votes, Jones has voted with President Trump's position 35% of the time as of September 2019.