In this July 14, 2020, file photo, Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville speaks at a campaign event in Montgomery, Alabama. Credit: Butch Dill / AP

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville has recaptured a U.S. Senate seat for Republicans by defeating Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. Jones had widely been considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat.

Republicans had made recapturing the once reliably conservative seat a priority in 2020.

Tuberville, who has never held public office and last coached four years ago, aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump and declared in the primary campaign: “God sent us Donald Trump.”

Jones had won the seat during a 2017 special election in which GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore was publicly accused of sexual misconduct involving young women decades ago.

The GOP hammered Jones over his vote to convict Trump in the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year.