Warnock and Ossoff clinch wins in Georgia runoff


Michael M. Santiago

Senators-elect Rapheal Warnock (left) and Jon Ossoff (right) at a campaign event.

Connor Fox, School Clubs Editor

On January 5, the Democratic party pulled off a major victory by successfully winning both of Georgia’s Senate seats. Due to multiple seats picked up by the party in November, these two wins will put the Democrats in the majority for the start of President-Elect Joe Biden’s term as President.

The first race was between Republican Kelly Loeffler and Democrat opponent Raphael Warnock. 

Loeffler, the incumbent, was appointed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp to replace retiring senator Johnny Isakson. Prior to being appointed senator, Loeffler was a financier for Intercontinental Exchange, a global exchange company that owns the New York Stock Exchange. 

Loeffler came under scrutiny in April for reportedly selling 20 million dollars worth of stock after a series of closed-door Senate hearings discussing the severity of the coronavirus. These meetings on the coronavirus began in late January, and around the same time, Loeffler told constituents at events that the coronavirus was nothing to worry about.

The Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, is the former lead pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church former Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once led. Reverend Warnock clinched the race with a 2 percent win over Loeffler; he will be Georgia’s first-ever African American senator once sworn in.

The second of the two senate races was between incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. In the November general election, Perdue originally beat Ossoff but was unable to garner 50 percent of the total vote, which triggered a runoff election.

The incumbent for the second runoff election, David Perdue, originally won the seat in 2015 and was up for his second term in the senate. Prior to his election, Perdue had served as a business executive for companies like Reebok and Dollar General.

Perdue’s competitor, Jon Ossoff, is a former entertainment producer and investigative journalist. Ossoff defeated Perdue with around a 50,000 vote advantage. Ossoff will be Georgia’s first Jewish senator and, at 33, will be the youngest person to serve in the senate since President-Elect Joe Biden won his election in 1972 at the age of 29.

With the Democrats winning both of these seats, the Republican and the Democratic party will each hold 50 seats. According to the constitution, in the event of a tie on a bill, the Vice President will cast the tie-breaking vote. Because of Democrat Joe Biden’s win, VP-elect Kamala Harris will be the tie-breaking vote, thus putting the Democratic party in the majority.

With the Democratic Party clinching a majority in the Senate, they will now be in control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency. This will give the Biden administration an easier way to fulfill their campaign agenda.