Tuesday’s Alabama Senate election result has already drawn praise from one Mormon-based political group.
Mormon Women for Ethical Government, a nonpartisan grassroots organization founded in January, issued a statement exalting Alabama voters for “showing moral courage in electing Doug Jones.”
“By so doing, Alabama has sent a decisive message to the nation and set a clear precedent: immoral behavior, regardless of its party of origin, will not go unchecked,” the statement said.
Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore, who had faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, by more than 20,000 votes and earned 49.9 percent of the vote compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent.
Sharlee Glenn, president and founder of MWEG, told City Weekly this week’s special election felt almost “like deja vu” from what occurred in November 2016 when Donald Trump won the presidency.
“As an organization, we stand strong for decency, accountability, honor and integrity,” Glenn said. “We are very concerned about the extreme divisiveness in our country right now.
“It’s almost like a civil war.”
Glenn said the nonpartisan group sees Tuesday’s result as not a victory for any one party, but something else.
“We don’t see this as a victory for the Democratic party, we see it very clearly as a victory for our country,” she said. “We feel like the voters of Alabama, although it was close, they pulled through and we hope there’s been sort of a turning of the tide a little bit.”
In the weeks leading up to the special election, other prominent Mormon political figures, including Mitt Romney, tweeted their concern regarding what a Moore victory would mean for the Republican party.
“Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation,” Romney tweeted on Dec. 5. “Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.”
Evan McMullin, the former CIA operations officer and Brigham Young University graduate who ran as an independent in the 2016 presidential election, also tweeted his praise for Alabama.
“The Coalition of the Decent has spoken again,” McMullin tweeted. “This is a proud night for Alabama and should send a clear message to GOP leadership: Continue to appease the populist, nationalist movement of Bannon and Trump at your peril.”
MWEG’s statement said Alabama voters faced a “moral dilemma” once accusations of Moore’s history of sexual predation and misconduct came to light. Would voters elect a candidate for a party that closely aligned with their values despite the accusations, the statement asked.
“In a news cycle that is distressingly dark and hostile, we are greatly encouraged by the bright light coming from Alabama,” the release continued. “The earliest exit polls reveal that people of color are largely to thank for this victory. As more information becomes available, we hope to see a pattern of voters daring to step out of entrenched partisanship in favor of character.
“We are thankful to all voters who showed up to save the United States from tumbling to a new low, signaling that perhaps, in spite of seismic shifting on the political-moral landscape, we might in fact just be able to regain our footing.”
Hopefully, Glenn added, Alabama’s Senate election will help change the extreme partisanship and divisiveness between parties.
“We saw this as an awakening of the nation finally,” Glenn said. “Hopefully, moving forward more and more people are going to wake up and say, ‘What is this divisiveness doing to our country?’ and look at issues that are truly going to benefit the citizens of this country.”