Sen. Doug Jones (D., Ala.) raised more money from donors living abroad than from those living in Alabama, the state he represents in the U.S. Senate.
Jones raised almost $100,000 from Americans abroad, $48,000 of which came from the United Kingdom, in the most recent fundraising period, AL.com reports. He also went on a campaign-funded trip to Switzerland late last year where he attended a fundraising dinner that started at $250 per person. Jones raised more than $32,000 on the day of that fundraiser.
In the same fundraising period, Jones received $55,000 from Alabama residents.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), the state's senior senator, has not received any money from Americans abroad during his three decades in the Senate.
Jones's campaign spent more than $3,000 on European travel in December, including more than $1,600 for a room at London's Beaumont Hotel.
Doug Turner, Jones's campaign treasurer, said the senator contributed to a short filmed message encouraging expatriates to vote in November's midterm elections and received positive responses. He defended the senator's European travel, in a statement:
Millions of U.S. Citizens, including a substantial number from Alabama, live abroad for a period of time in connection with their work, education or family. With the strong positive reaction, the senator scheduled a brief fundraising trip to Europe. The [Federal Election Commission] report reflects contributions made during that trip. Some of the hosts and donors were originally from Alabama – or had family connections in the state. Others were simply supporters. As is required, all expenses for the trip were paid for by the senator’s campaign committee and all donations were subject to the regulations of the Federal Elections Commission.
Jones's approval rating dropped 17 percent among Alabama voters in 2018. The junior senator will likely face a tough reelection campaign in a state President Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016. Jones defeated Roy Moore, a former Alabama supreme court chief justice, by less than 22,000 votes after Moore became mired in sexual misconduct allegations.