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By Laura Clawson
Losing candidate Roy Moore's conspiracy theory-laden temper tantrum, which was dismissed by a judge on Thursday, didn't stop Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill -- a conservative Republican -- from certifying Doug Jones, a Democrat and former KKK prosecutor, as the next senator from Alabama.
It took just a few minutes, several of them prayer, for the state canvassing board to formally certify Jones, who can now be sworn in when the Senate returns from recess.
This brings Democrats one improbable, beautiful step closer to retaking the Senate in 2018. Doug Jones being certified as the winner says we can do this thing. Sure, Roy Moore was a terrible candidate, but this is Alabama.
Alabama would have elected Roy Moore in a different national political climate. The 2018 Senate map is bad for Democrats, but this election was a sign we have to fight every step of the way because there is hope and we go into 2018 one seat closer to the majority than we expected.
The map may expand, but right now, the prime targets are Arizona, where Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, a state that went pretty darn blue in 2016 while Sen. Dean Heller has spent the time since flip-flopping on health care and generally looking craven and weak.
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