Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia, handing Senate control to Democrats

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Democrats won both Georgia Senate seats—and with them, control of the U.S. Senate—as final votes were counted Wednesday, serving President Donald Trump a stunning defeat in his last days in office while dramatically improving the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Democratic challengers who represented the diversity of their party’s evolving coalition, defeated Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler two months after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.

The sweep in Georgia creates a 50-50 tie in the Senate that can be broken by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Democrats also hold narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

Warnock, who served as pastor for the same Atlanta church where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. preached, becomes the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate. And Ossoff becomes the state’s first Jewish senator and, at 33 years old, the Senate’s youngest member.

Their success is a symbol of a striking shift in Georgia’s politics as the swelling number of diverse, college-educated voters flex their power in the heart of the Deep South.

This week’s elections mark the formal finale to the turbulent 2020 election season. The unusually high stakes transformed Georgia, once a solidly Republican state, into one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds for the final days of Trump’s presidency—and likely beyond.

In an emotional address early Wednesday, Warnock vowed to work for all Georgians whether they voted for him or not, citing his personal experience with the American dream. His mother, he said, used to pick “somebody else’s cotton” as a teenager.

“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said. “Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he described his win as a “reversal of the old Southern strategy that sought to divide people,” Warnock told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Loeffler remains a Georgia senator until the results of Tuesday’s election are finalized, returned to Washington on Wednesday morning to join a small group of senators planning to challenge Congress’ vote to certify Biden’s victory.

Georgia’s other runoff election pitted Perdue, a 71-year-old former business executive who held his Senate seat until his term expired on Sunday, against Ossoff, a former congressional aide and journalist.

“This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state—for all the people of this state,” Ossoff said in a speech broadcast on social media Wednesday morning. “Whether you were for me, or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate. I will serve all the people of the state.”

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7 thoughts on “Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia, handing Senate control to Democrats

  1. Warnock Quote: “The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said. “Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

    Let’s see: If she’s 82, she was born in 1938. She became a teen-ager after World War II…and she was picking someone else’s cotton? Who was still picking cotton manually after World War II….hell, after 1900, for that matter…and if they were, they certainly weren’t indentured servants.

    I suppose we are in for at least two years of this nonsense. Ridiculous.

    1. What a sad and foolish comment. You think black people in the South had rights before the 1960’s? She probably was picking cotton as a child for wages that basically make you a slave. You’d think seeing your side destroy our Capitol building would give you some pause. Apparently not. Your side lost, twice now. Just wanted to remind you.

    2. Wow Bob P…… I’m not a fan at all of BLM, but even I am saddened by your racism……

  2. So Trump does a rally the night before the election in Dalton County, a red country that he carried by a large margin on November 3. Fast forward two months, and turnout is lower for the run-off election. The two Republican incumbents get fewer votes than Trump did and the two Democrat challengers get more votes that Biden did. Great job, Donald! You just handed the Senate majority to the Democrats after handing them the presidency. Wow.

  3. Republicans are going to get schooled on how to wield power! They better sit back and take notes. With control of both houses of congress and the White House, Dems will change this nation dramatically in the next two years. I have no expectation that Republicans will learn a thing about how to lead if they ever regain control. They have seemed very content to be “second place” for many years.

    1. Mark … these are the Democrats. They’re not that organized. Like the Republicans in the first two years of Trump, they’ll muster maybe one large bill and get maybe one judge (Souter) replaced.

      With luck it’ll be a consequential large bill that helps all Americans like the ACA did for a lot of people. But that was a bipartisan effort (it was a Republican health care proposal) even though the Republicans didn’t vote for it because of politics. Not sure what’s out there outside of maybe actually having Infrastructure Week….