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Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Alabama, is a long-time attorney best known for his successful prosecution of Ku Klux Klan members for a 1963 church bombing. He's also a first-time candidate. That's part of the reason Democrats think he might be able to pull out an upset victory over scandal-plagued Republican candidate Roy Moore in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1992.

The latest: Jones is going on the offensive against Moore with new ads focusing on his accusers.

What they're saying: Artur Davis, a former Democratic congressman from the Montgomery area, told The Washington Post Jones would need to appeal to his no-nonsense track record and avoid the culture wars of other recent high-profile races to get statewide Alabama voters on board: "To pull the 20 percent of Republicans he needs, he is going to have to make this a race about common-sense ideas, working with both sides, and avoid the temptation to portray this race as a clash of dark and light. That will backfire here quicker than Roy can say Jesus."

Jones' background
  • Born and raised in Alabama, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and his law degree at Samford University.
  • Jones worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee and Department of Justice before being appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama by Bill Clinton in 1997.
  • As U.S. attorney, beginning in 1998, Jones successfully prosecuted two KKK members in connection with the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham that killed four African-American girls. Both perpetrators received life sentences.
  • He also coordinated the federal response to Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph after he bombed an abortion clinic in Birmingham in 1998.
His positions
  • In his own words: Jones told WaPo: "People don't want a lap dog for Mitch McConnell, but they don't want an attack dog, either. Unfortunately, Jeff Sessions's voice is what people think of when they imagine the typical Southern politician. And that's not true. There's a lot of folks on the other side who might be concerned about the rollback of civil rights we could see under Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department."
  • More progressive stances: Jones is pro-choice — one of his major difficulties in deeply religious Alabama — and a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act. On that end, he's voiced his hope that Alabama might one day expand its Medicaid coverage under the ACA. He's also spoken out against the violence in Charlottesville, denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
  • On Trump: He told AL.com: "It doesn't really matter what my view is. My view is going to be taking every issue step by step, because he is the president."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.