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State Rep. John Rogers challenges Doug Jones to public debate

MONTGOMERY — State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) is officially challenging U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) to a public debate on abortion and healthcare, among other issues focused on “taking the state forward.”

Updating Yellowhammer News on his intent to primary Jones, Rogers said he has not yet had time to work on fundraising with the legislature in session the past three days. He said he is worried he will not be able to compete with Jones’ war chest, given the massive amounts of money Jones was raking in from out of the state and overseas.

However, Rogers is not totally deterred, saying he believes Jones “is in prolific trouble anyways.”

“I’m going to give him another week before I file my FEC stuff. I’ll give him another week, and then I might run anyway [regardless of the money differential].” Rogers said.  “And then I might just run — I could win, beat Doug with $500,000. I don’t need $1,000,000.”

Rogers then upped the ante, challenging Jones to debate him on the issues. He said a debate would reveal Jones does indeed agree with him on the sentiments of his infamous abortion remarks when Rogers said he was trying to differentiate between being “pro-life” and “pro-birth.”

“I challenge him to a debate, I challenge him to a debate at 16th Street Baptist Church,” Rogers told Yellowhammer News.

Jones’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jones has established himself as an automatic pro-choice vote in the U.S. Senate. He has previously voted against banning using federal funds for abortions and even voted against banning late-term abortions.

RELATED: Recorded phone call reveals the moment John Rogers decided to primary Doug Jones

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn