- Charles Barkley, a former NBA star and Alabama native, hailed Democrat Doug Jones’ upset victory against GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama on Tuesday night.
- Barkley said Jones’s win is a “wake-up call” for Democrats that they need to pay closer attention to black voters, who helped Jones win in a deep-red state.
Former NBA star and longtime Alabama native Charles Barkley weighed in on Democrat Doug Jones’ shocking upset over Republican Roy Moore in the state’s contentious Senate special election on Tuesday night.
Barkley stumped for Jones on the campaign trail on Monday and congratulated the former federal prosecutor on his win, but added that Democrats have “taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time.”
“It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor,” Barkley told CNN after the race was called for Jones. “They’ve always had our votes, and they have abused our votes, and this is a wake-up call. We’ve got them in a great position now, but this is a wake-up call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.”
“it’s time for[democrats] to get off their ass and start making life better forblack folks, and for people who are poor.” – charles barkleypic.twitter.com/im4cLhm8zq
— Becca Laurie, PI (@imbeccable) December 13, 2017
While campaigning for Jones in Birmingham on Monday – along with Netflix star Uzo Aduba and Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin – Barkley said it was time for Alabama voters to “draw a line in the sand.”
“We’ve got to stop looking like idiots to the nation,” he said.
Tuesday’s race was the most contentious in the red state’s recent history, and preliminary voting data suggests that Jones’s victory was largely attributable to high black voter turnout and low enthusiasm among traditionally Republican voters, many of whom were turned off by the string of sexual misconduct allegations that plagued Moore’s campaign in recent months.
Jones will be the first Democrat to hold a Senate seat in Alabama in over two decades.
“This is a great night for Alabama,” Barkley said. “We’ve been stuck in a time warp a long time … Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and ignorant people, but we got some amazing people, and they rose up today.”