The U.S. Senate runoff elections that brought Georgia into the national spotlight have come to an end as Jon Ossoff secured a U.S. Senate seat and Senate majority for Democrats, as called by the Associated Press.
Democrat Ossoff beat Republican incumbent David Perdue in the Senate race, joining the Rev. Raphael Warnock in overturning two incumbent Republican Senate seats. The announcement came as supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
By flipping both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, Ossoff and Warnock will serve on the first majority-Democrat Senate since the 2014 midterm elections. Each party will now have 50 members in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker. President-elect Joe Biden will now serve with a House of Representatives and Senate that are both majority-Democrat, clearing the way for him to pass legislation favored by Democrats.
Ossoff leads Perdue with a margin of 0.6%, which is just over the 0.5% margin in which Purdue can request a recount. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Ossoff obtained 50.3% of the votes while Perdue won 49.7% of the votes, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the race saw 4,431,196 votes cast, compared to the 4,952,175 votes cast when Ossoff and Perdue competed in the November general election alongside Libertarian Shane Hazel, who did not reach the runoff.
In a live-streamed victory speech early Wednesday morning before the race was called, Ossoff thanked Georgia voters and volunteers, and outlined plans to combat the coronavirus while in office.
“Right now, 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. “I want to thank the people of Georgia for participating in this election, everybody who cast your ballot, everybody who put your faith and confidence in our democracy’s capacity to deliver the representation that we deserve. Whether you were for me or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate.”
Perdue’s campaign has not released a statement since the AP called the race for Ossoff. Its most recent statement was early Wednesday morning.