Georgia’s newly elected senators, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, will be sworn in once the state’s election results are certified.
Warnock replaces Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Isakson after he retired because of health issues. Warnock will stand for re-election in 2022. That’s the same year as Georgia’s new gubernatorial and cabinet races. Loeffler took part Wednesday and early today as Congress formally recognized the Biden/Harris victory; she stood down from earlier statements that she would challenge the election.
Ossoff replaces David Perdue, who officially is a former U.S. senator as his term ended Jan. 3. He did not take part in the congressional review of the presidential election on Wednesday. Ossoff will stand for re-election in 2026.
One of the fiercest elections in America’s history isn’t quite over but it is close. A runoff ballot with just three seats — two critical chairs in the U.S. Senate and a Public Service Commission post — drew nearly 4.5 million total votes.
In the first race, the Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated appointed U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler by more than 35,000 votes per the latest from the Secretary of State’s Office. It gives the Democrats 49 seats in the Senate; the GOP, 50.
In the second race, the critical 50th seat for Democrats in Congress, has been won by Jon Ossoff. The election was officially called after 4 p.m. Wednesday. The 33-year-old Democrat had built a 25,000-vote lead over first-term Republican David Perdue.
Northwest Georgia went the other way — by huge margins — but the statewide numbers stayed close or with Democratic leads much of the night. Some 4.38 million votes have been counted as of this morning.
Also at issue: How right-leaning Floyd County had the lowest percentage of GOP votes in the Senate and Public Service Commission races despite posting the highest turnout, roughly 59%. Buoyed by Trump’s visit on Nov. 1 and a parade of Republican candidates here in recent weeks, a larger margin of victory was expected.
In Floyd, Perdue did do a little better than in November where he got 69.6% of the vote vs. Ossoff. But Perdue also got 28,752 votes on Nov. 3 vs. 24,732 in the runoff — a 4,000-vote or 16% dropoff. Ossoff saw a slight drop, from 11,480 in November to 10,611 in the runoff, or 7.6%.
Overall, Floyd saw 41,883 voters in November (69.1%) vs. 35,244 voters in the runoff with an estimated turnout of 59%. That’s a 6,000-plus vote drop. And that could be critical in the Perdue-Ossoff race.
Ballots have yet to be counted, a recount is automatic and legal challenges likely will come but it appears Georgia has elected two new senators, giving Demorcats control of the Senate (with the tie vote from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris) as well as the House and the presidency come Jan. 20 no matter what comes down in Washington, D.C., later today challenging President-elect Joe Biden.
The vote per Secretary of State’s Office:
US Senate (Perdue)
- David A. Perdue (I) (Rep) 2,201,099
- Jon Ossoff (Dem) 2,233,982
US Senate (Loeffler)
- Kelly Loeffler (I) (Rep) 2,182,332
- Raphael Warnock (Dem) 2,252,808
Public Service Commission District 4
- Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr. (I) (Rep) 2,220,713
- Daniel Blackman (Dem) 2,167,216
Statewide results (Secretary of State’s office)
NORTHWEST GEORGIA’S VOTE
How Northwest Georgia voted:
- Bartow: With 43,000 votes counted, GOP candidates up by 75-25% margins. Turnout: 56.7%
- Gordon: GOP dominating with 20,300 votes counted; 81-19% margins in all three races. Turnout: 54.8%
- Polk: With 14,700 votes posted, it is a GOP sweep by a 78-22% margin.
- Chattooga: With 14,400 votes counted, Republicans leading all three races by almost 80-20% margins. Turnout: 57%.