MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore confidently took to the stage in a surprise appearance Tuesday evening to tell supporters "we are going to win" Alabama's U.S. Senate seat, vacated by now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
While Moore did not win the nomination outright, he came away in a strong first place position. He'll have to fight second place finisher, Sen. Luther Strange, in a runoff that will be held on Sept. 26. Because Alabama has closed its primaries, only those who voted in the GOP primary or did not vote at all on Tuesday can take part in the Sept. runoff.
Strange has the endorsement of President Donald Trump, who remains very popular in Alabama. Still, with low voter turnout, a spokesperson for Strange's campaign said a runoff would be considered a victory.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, and with almost 90 percent of precincts reporting, Moore held a 39 to 32 percent lead over Strange. Rep. Mo Brooks pulled approximately 20 percent of the vote and was eliminated from the possible runoff.
The Alabama GOP reacted to the night's news, congratulating both Moore and Strange.
Meanwhile, Democrats made Doug Jones their party's nominee outright with well over 60 percent of the votes as of 10 p.m. The next closest competitor pulled less than 20 percent.
Jones and the ultimate winner of the GOP runoff will face each other for the Senate seat in a race to be held on Dec. 12.