Doug Jones makes campaign stop in Cullman

Jones addresses Cullman area supporters Monday afternoon. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama stopped in Cullman Monday afternoon to address a small crowd of local supporters outside the Cullman County Fair. He shared with the group his connection to the area through his wife Louise New, a Cullman native, and talked about the status of the campaign and various issues. Jones will face former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Nov. 3 General Election.

Asked why he made Cullman a stop on his tour in the closing days of the campaign, Jones gestured toward his supporters and told The Tribune, “Those folks. I mean, hey, look, we’ve had different places this week. We always stop where we know we’ve got supporters. We have been doing things for Cullman County and rural Alabama just like we have other places. My wife’s from Cullman, and we wanted to make sure folks know that we’re out there. You know, we’re not always making the stops like we did in 2017 because we’re just not moving around, but the fact is I think it’s important that folks in Cullman County and other rural areas know what we’ve been doing to try and keep their hospitals open, try to help the farmers in this area, try to bring manufacturing back into rural Alabama, try to get jobs here, and all we’re doing to try to keep people safe during this crisis, whether it’s unemployment, whether it’s the Payroll Protection Program, just to make sure they understand that, because they’ll go back and they’ll say, ‘Senator Jones came by.’”

Jones told his supporters that Democrats have brought the state projects at Redstone Arsenal, student loan programs, support for rural hospitals and support for farmers.

Said Jones, “I’m not on the Agriculture Committee, but Alabama farmers haven’t had a voice like mine since (the late Sen.) Howell Heflin (D-Alabama) left in 1997. Folks are paying attention to that.”

He also took an opportunity for a few jabs at his opponent Tuberville, saying, “I’m running against a guy who’s staying underground. We thought Roy Moore stayed underground; this guy is deep-sixed. It’s because he really doesn’t know the issues, and he doesn’t want to understand the issues. He just wants to talk about the President and ‘draining the swamp.’”

Jones answered questions from the group on climate change, saying that Tuberville does not believe in the science of global warming, and stating that he will work to transition Alabama’s fossil fuel industry into green jobs.

He also challenged President Donald Trump, saying that his move against the Affordable Care Act will put at risk children on their parents’ health insurance, people with COVID-19, people with pre-existing conditions and seniors with prescription coverage.

Jones added, “We’re doing everything we can to expand Medicaid.”

Answering questions for the media, Jones declared that he is “neck and neck” with Tuberville, up one day and down the next. In response to a reporter’s question, he expressed concern about voter suppression and encouraged absentee voters to make sure their ballots are filled out correctly. He also said that a second COVID-19 stimulus bill is in order, and expressed disappointment at the lack of success in an effort to pass one. Lastly, he encouraged Alabamians to complete the 2020 Census, saying that Alabama is in danger of losing a congressional seat at the current rate of response. 

Jones told his supporters, “We just appreciate so much, everybody, all the work you’ve done. This has just been amazing! We are making a difference, folks. We’re making a difference in Washington D.C.”

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Jones addresses a small crowd outside the Cullman County Fair Monday afternoon. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

W.C. Mann