Moore not conceding Senate race to Jones

Posted: Updated:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is not conceding to Democrat Doug Jones, telling campaign supporters "it's not over."

"It's going to take some time," the candidate says during a brief appearance before supporters.

Campaign chairman Bill Armistead says that because the vote is close and approaching the state's recount requirement, "we do not have a final decision on the outcome."

Alabama state law calls for a recount if the margin of victory is less than one-half of one percentage point. With all precincts reporting, Jones leads by 1.5 percentage points - three times what's required to trigger a recount.

If the secretary of state determines there were more write-in votes than the difference between Jones and Moore, the state's counties would be required to tally those votes. It's not clear how that would help Moore, who ended the night trailing Jones by more than 20,000 votes.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is defending his decision to initially back Sen. Luther Strange against Roy Moore in Alabama's Senate election, saying in a predawn tweet that "Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him."

"I was right!" the president said in a pre-dawn Twitter post Wednesday, a day after Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeated Moore, a former state Supreme Court chief justice who was buffeted by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Trump notes in his social media post that the reason he originally sided with Strange was that "I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election."

The president had sent a tweet late Tuesday congratulating Jones, a former federal prosecutor, on his "hard fought victory."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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