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Democrats take control of Senate as Jon Ossoff secures victory in second Georgia race

“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,” Ossoff said.

Updated Jan 6th 2021, 9:00 PM

news-georgia-democrats-campaign-in-augusta Jon Ossoff, left, and Raphael Warnock exchange elbow bumps during a campaign rally in Augusta on Monday. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE SECOND DEMOCRATIC candidate running for a Senate seat in Georgia has secured victory, giving the party control of the chamber, in a major boost for the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden.

The Associated Press called the race for Ossoff at 9:16 Irish time this evening. Other news networks and Edison Research also said that Ossoff had beaten incumbent David Perdue in the crucial election.

The result was reported after scores of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. The building has gone into lockdown after violent clashes broke out between protesters and police. 

“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,” Jon Ossoff said earlier.

The other Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock declared victory last night against incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler – who has still not conceded defeat. The Press Association, CNN, and the New York Times are among the media outlets that have now called the first Georgia race for Warnock.

“Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me,” Warnock, a 51-year-old Black pastor, said in a televised address shortly after midnight.

“And I promise you this tonight, I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia.”

biden President-elect Joe Biden elbow bumps Senate candidate Raphael Warnock in Atlanta on Monday. Source: Carolyn Kaster

The candidates

Warnock, aged 51, made history as just the third African American to win a Senate seat from the South. He defeated Kelly Loeffler, a 50-year-old businesswoman appointed to the Senate in December 2019.

election-2020-georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler. Source: John Bazemore

The results are a major political upset in a GOP bastion, a southern state that has been reliably Republican for two decades but which Biden won in an upset on 3 November as he marched to victory against Trump in the presidential race.

They also send reverberations through Washington and the nation, as it would essentially hand Biden’s Democrats the levers of power in the executive branch and both chambers of Congress.

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correction-senate-georgia Senate challenger Jon Ossoff. Source: AP/PA Images

“Georgia – The nation is looking to you to lead us forward,” tweeted President-elect Biden yesterday.

“The power is in your hands,” wrote the 78-year-old Democrat, who like Trump visited the Peach State to rally supporters on the eve of the vote.

Georgia was voting during a week of high political tensions, with Trump desperately scheming to reverse his election loss.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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