- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2017

DOLOMITE, Ala. — Democrat Doug Jones shrugged off the news that President Trump officially endorsed his rival Republican Roy Moore in the special U.S. Senate race here in Alabama, saying his focus is on being an independent voice for the people of his home state.

Mr. Trump’s endorsement is likely to boost Mr. Moore, who is trying to overcome allegations of sexual misconduct that sent other GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, running for cover.

“I am not worried about Roy Moore’s campaign. I am not worried about any of that,” Mr. Jones told reporters Monday. “Our campaign is going straight to the people of Alabama because that is who my voters are. It is not the president, it is not Mitch McConnell.”

Mr. McConnell, in the wake of the accusations against Mr. Moore, called on him to leave the race. Since then, the Kentucky Republican has appeared to soften his opposition to Mr. Moore, a stalwart social conservative who is locked in a competitive race with Mr. Jones.

Over the weekend, Mr. McConnell said that the people of Alabama to decide who they want to send to the Senate, that whoever wins would be sworn in, and that the Senate Ethics Committee would handle the Moore accusations.

“Obviously Mitch McConnell had very little credibility in this state anyway,” Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Moore, meanwhile, plans to campaign Tuesday with Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, in Fairhope, Alabama, and then Mr. Trump is expected to hold a rally in Pensacola, Florida, about 20 miles outside Mobile, which will spill over into the Alabama media market.

Mr. Jones has criticized Mr. Bannon’s slash-and-burn style of politics, but has steered clear of throwing bombs at Mr. Trump, who remains extremely popular in Alabama.

“Remember President Trump ran Stephen Bannon out of the White House because of his politics of division,” he said. “I have said all along, I am an independent voice. I’ve told folks I can work with President Trump when he wants to do things that are for Alabama and will help the people of this state.”

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