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Democrat Doug Jones Officially Declared Winner

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on the U.S. Senate race in Alabama (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Senator-elect Doug Jones of Alabama says his victory marks a "new chapter for our state and the nation."

Jones issued a statement Thursday after a state board officially declared him the winner of the Dec. 12 election. Jones said he is looking forward to "going to work for the people of Alabama."

Official election results show that Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore by 21,924 votes. Jones is expected to be sworn in next month.

He is the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in 25 years. Jones said he will be an "independent voice" in the Senate and will strive for "common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

The state certified Jones' win after a judge rejected Moore's request to delay the certification.

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1:10 p.m.

Alabama election officials have officially declared Democrat Doug Jones the winner of a special Senate election held earlier this month.

Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore by about 22,000 votes on Dec. 12 and became the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama. Moore was dogged by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls that occurred decades ago.

He refused to concede the race and filed a last-ditch lawsuit Wednesday, saying there were voting irregularities that needed to be investigated. A judge rejected his claims. Alabama officials also said they found no evidence of fraud.

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12:30 p.m.

An Alabama judge has rejected Roy Moore's attempt to stop the state from making his defeat official in Alabama's special Senate election.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on Thursday denied Moore's attempt to delay the certification of votes while Moore's claims of voting irregularities are investigated. Democrat Doug Jones is expected to be certified as the winner Thursday afternoon.

Moore had filed a lawsuit late Wednesday night in an 11th-hour attempt to stop Alabama from certifying Jones as the winner.

Moore's attorney wrote in the lawsuit that he believed there were irregularities and said there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

Alabama election officials say they found no evidence of fraud.

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12:15 p.m.

A Montgomery circuit judge at this hour is having a telephone conference with attorneys in Republican Roy Moore's last-ditch effort to stop Democrat Doug Jones from being declared the winner in the Alabama Senate election.

Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block the state from certifying Jones as the winner, saying there were voting irregularities during the Dec. 12 race he lost by about 12,000 votes.

Court staff members say Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick scheduled the telephone conference with attorneys. Jones has asked Hardwick to toss the lawsuit.

Alabama's election canvassing board is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday to certify the election result.

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11:10 a.m.

Democrat Doug Jones is asking a judge to toss Roy Moore's last-minute lawsuit seeking to overturn Jones' historic win in the Alabama race for U.S. Senate.

Jones filed a motion Thursday in Montgomery Circuit court asking a judge to dismiss Moore's complaint.  Attorney Joe Espy wrote that Moore has no legal ground for asking the court to block Jones' win.

Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday raising broad claims of election fraud. He asked a judge to stop the state from declaring Jones the winner. The election results will be certified at 1 p.m. CST. Thursday unless blocked by a judge.

Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes to become the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in 25 years.

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9 a.m.

A spokesman for Doug Jones is calling Roy Moore's last-minute lawsuit to stop the certification of Jones' victory in this month's U.S. Senate race a "desperate attempt."

Jones spokesman Sam Coleman said Thursday that Moore's attempt to "subvert the will of the people will not succeed."

Echoing a previous refrain from Jones, Coleman added, "The election is over. It's time to move on."

Moore filed a lawsuit in Montgomery Circuit Court late Wednesday raising broad claims of election fraud. He asked a judge to block the state from certifying Jones as the winner. Secretary of State John Merrill said he has found no evidence of voter fraud, and he said the state canvassing board would certify Jones' victory as planned on Thursday afternoon.

Jones is scheduled to be sworn in next week.

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12:30 a.m.

Roy Moore is going to court to try to stop Alabama from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race.

Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday evening in Montgomery Circuit Court. The filing occurred about 14 hours ahead of Thursday's meeting of a state canvassing board to officially declare Jones the winner of the Dec. 12 special election.

Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes.

Moore's attorney wrote in the lawsuit that he believed there were irregularities and said there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that Jones will be certified as the winner Thursday. He said so far his office has found no evidence of fraud.

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

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