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Tuberville unseats Jones in Alabama Senate race

Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), flipping the seat back into GOP hands.

The Associated Press called the race for Tuberville shortly after 10 p.m. ET.

Tuberville’s victory will require Democrats to pick up an extra seat if they are going to win back the Senate majority for the first time since 2014.

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Tuberville’s victory comes roughly three years after Jones, a former federal prosecutor, won the final three years of then-GOP Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Manchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE’s (Ala.) term after the longtime lawmaker stepped down to become President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE’s first attorney general.

Tuberville is a political newcomer who moved to Alabama from Florida with an eye on jumping into politics. He gained traction by sticking closely with the president, including saying in 2019 that “God sent Donald Trump to us.” 

Tuberville beat out a crowded GOP primary field that included Sessions in order to take on Jones. Trump backed Tuberville during the GOP runoff as he revived his years-long feud with Sessions, who sparked the president’s ire when he recused himself from the FBI’s probe into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and the Trump campaign.

And Tuberville's campaign signaled confidence in the closing stretch, with Tuberville refusing to debate Jones as polls showed the GOP nominee  with a double-digit lead.

Jones dramatically outraised and outspent Tuberville. Jones brought in nearly $26.4 million and spent nearly $24.5 million to the GOP nominee’s $7.4 and more than $5.9 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Jones is already getting speculation as a potential Cabinet pick if Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE wins the White House.