Despite an 11th-hour effort by Roy Moore to keep Doug Jones from officially being declared the winner of a seat on the US Senate, Alabama's election officials did just that Thursday, with Jones calling it a "new chapter" for the Yellowhammer State. Per USA Today, the Alabama State Canvassing Board certified Jones' win in the Dec. 12 special election, which was held to find a replacement for Jeff Sessions, who vacated the seat to become the US attorney general. Jones, the first Democrat from Alabama to take a US Senate seat in a quarter century, issued a statement noting he's ready to "[go] to work for the people of Alabama" and that he'll serve as an "independent voice" who works to find "common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle," the AP reports.
Moore, who the New York Times notes lost the election to Jones by nearly 22,000 votes, had refused to concede and was still soliciting donations from supporters. Late Wednesday, he filed what the Atlantic calls a "last gasp" lawsuit to keep Alabama from certifying Jones, citing voter fraud and intimidation, but Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick ruled Thursday the certification was not to be halted while Moore investigates the alleged voting irregularities. The Times notes Moore still hasn't conceded losing his 2006 and 2010 runs for governor in the state, either. "You win with class, you lose with class, and he just can't do it," a GOP strategist says. Jones is set to be sworn in on Jan. 3.