Democrats take control of Senate; Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia

Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican appointee Sen. Kelly Loeffler for one of two Senate seats up for grabs in runoff elections. Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI

Jan. 7 (UPI) — Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate — and both chambers of Congress — Wednesday after Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were projected to win their runoff races in Georgia.

CNNNBCABC and The New York Times said both Democratic challengers will win the Tuesday election.

With 100% of precincts reporting Wednesday afternoon, Ossoff had 50.28% of the vote to incumbent Sen. David Perdue’s 49.72, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s website. Warnock had 50.7% of the vote in the special Senate race to Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s 49.3%.

Both Ossoff and Warnock had enough of a lead to avoid an automatic recount.

With the victory, Warnock will become the first Black senator from Georgia.

Ossoff declared victory, saying “I will look forward to serving you in the United States with integrity, with humility, with honor.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he was ecstatic that Democrats would take the majority in the Senate.

The upper chamber will be divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, but Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would break any tie votes in favor of the Democrats.

“Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ran first-rate campaigns and will be outstanding senators for Georgia,” Schumer said, promising that Democrats will deliver “much-needed help” to Americans with control of the House, Senate and presidency.

He said the outcome in Georgia would unleash “a tremendous amount of talent” within his party that has been stifled by GOP leadership.

Warnock, the pastor of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, claimed victory Tuesday in a live stream, stating his win should stand as inspiration for others who “are tying to grasp and grab hold to the American dream.”

“I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me and I promise you this tonight: I am going to Senate to work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your vote for this election,” he said.

Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s former Democratic House leader, congratulated Warnock on Twitter.

“Last January, I endorsed my dear friend in his quest to serve. Soon, he will walk those august halls and cast votes as a leader with courage, justice and integrity,” she said. “God bless you and keep you in your service to us all.”

Polls closed Tuesday evening with more than 4.3 million votes cast, 3 million of which were cast early.

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