Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) enters second year of work on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As Alabama’s Democratic Senator Doug Jones kicks off his second year of work on Capitol Hill, the underdog leader weighs in about his time in office so far. He’ll soon have to think about keeping his seat in the traditional red state, as he’s up for re-election in 2020. Washington Correspondent Alana Austin sits down with the Senator about what’s next.

“I can’t concern myself about politics in general. I haven’t from the day I got here,” says Jones.

As the political world buzzes over a future re-election battle just around the corner, Democratic Senator Doug Jones says he’s focused on working hard for Alabamians.

“I’ve been an independent voice for the people of Alabama,” says Jones.

In a divisive time on Capitol Hill, Jones says there’s a lot of strong, bipartisan work that doesn’t get enough attention. Jones hopes to follow in the footsteps of his late mentor, Alabama’s last Democratic Senator Howell Heflin.

“And that is a picture of me and Heflin when I was staffing him at a Judiciary hearing, and they had one of these nameplates made for me, and Senator Capito drew my name as Secret Santa and gave me one from Senator Heflin. That is just the coolest thing to be able to have that and display it - I’m really happy to be in his seat,” explains Jones inside his office, showcasing his tribute to Heflin – and a note to his bipartisan aspirations in DC.

Jones says since taking office a year ago, he’s proud of fighting for jobs, children’s health insurance coverage, and relief for farmers hit by disastrous weather.

“I’m just humbled to be here every day as an exciting day to be here, to hear from the folks of the state of Alabama and to do things that make a difference,” said Jones.

But Jones’ legislative priorities on Capitol Hill will have to take a back seat until Congress can resolve the debate at the border. Jones says he supports tougher security at the border but he thinks a wall end to end wouldn’t work. In two weeks, lawmakers will have to strike a deal or the government could be shut down again.

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