Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the Senate majority within the party’s reach.
Also, Warnock is the first Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in 20 years, and his election is the culmination of years of voter registration drives conducted by former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams and other activists. President-elect Joe Biden also won Georgia, the first time for a Democratic presidential candidate since the 1990s.
Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. It was a stinging rebuke of outgoing President Donald Trump, who made one of his final trips in office to Georgia to rally his loyal base behind Loeffler and David Perdue, the Republican who is running for the other seat.
The focus now shifts to the second race between Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The candidates were locked in a tight race and it was too early to call a winner. Under Georgia law, a trailing candidate may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.
If Ossoff wins, Democrats will have complete control of Congress, strengthening President-elect Joe Biden’s standing as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20.