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Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks with the crowd at the 40 Watt Club on Dec. 11, 2020 for a rally with UGA students. The Associated Press has called this senate race for Warnock. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The U.S. Senate runoff elections that brought Georgia into the national spotlight have come one result closer to determining the control of the Senate. Early Wednesday morning, Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock claimed the Senate seat for Georgia over Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, called by the Associated Press. Warnock makes history as the first Black Senator in Georgia’s history.

By flipping one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats blue, Warnock’s victory leaves Democrats hopeful that they will soon control the first majority-Democrat Senate since the 2014 midterm elections. If Democrat Jon Ossoff wins against Republican incumbent David Perdue, each party would have 50 members in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker. President-elect Joe Biden would serve with a House of Representatives and Senate that are both majority-Democrat, clearing the way for him to pass legislation favored by Democrats.

However, this Senate majority is still dependent on the victory of Ossoff. The race is down to less than a percentage point with Ossoff in the lead, as of press time according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State Office. Without Ossoff’s victory, Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. 

As of press time, Warnock and Loeffler are within two percentage points, with Warnock obtaining 50.6% of the vote while Loeffler has 49.4% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State website. If the margin moves to less than 0.5%, then the losing candidate can request a recount. Loeffler refused to concede in a speech to supporters shortly after midnight. 

“I know that we can beat this pandemic with science and good old fashioned common sense. I know we can rebuild a fairer economy by respecting the dignity of work and the workers who do it,” Warnock said in a live-streamed speech early Wednesday morning. “To everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this: I hear you. I see you. And every day I am in the United States Senate, I will fight for you.”

Loeffler, who is still a sitting senator, traveled to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to meet with Congress for the Electoral College vote count. She said in an address around midnight Wednesday that she plans to object to the results that Biden won the presidential election.

“Every legal vote will be counted, and I’m not going to stop working. So I’m asking for every single Georgian, every single American: stay in the fight with us. We are going to keep fighting for you,” Loeffler said in the address.

Jake Drukman is The Red & Black's news editor, and has worked for the paper since 2019. He is a senior journalism major with a minor in criminal justice. He especially enjoys covering local politics and crime.

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