Georgia Runoffs: Ossoff Wins, Democrats Take Control of US Senate
Democrats have won both Georgia seats to force a 50-50 Senate that will see them gain control through Kamala Harris.
Democrat Jon Ossoff has been projected to win the Georgia runoff election, thereby ensuring his party wins control of the Senate, the US media reported on Wednesday, 6 January.
Hours earlier, Democratic Senate candidate Rev Raphael Warnock had been projected to win the other Georgia runoff election, defeating incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler.
According to a tally by the Associated Press, Ossoff was leading with 50.40 percent of the vote share, while the Republican incumbent David Perdue was behind with 49.60 percent of the share, with 98 percent of the estimated votes reported. Meanwhile, Warnock was leading with 50.8 percent of the vote share, over Loeffler's 49.2 percent, with 98 percent of the estimated votes reported.
The Democratic candidates' victories came as chaos erupted in the US capital on Wednesday night, with supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump storming the Capitol. The drama in the US unfolded as members of both Houses of the US Congress were meeting to conduct the vote certifying the Electoral College victory of Joe Biden in the US presidential election.
High Stakes Battle
The voters in the 'Peach State' of the United States had gathered on Tuesday to vote in the two crucial runoff elections.
Democrats needed to win both seats to force a 50-50 Senate that will now see them gain control through Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who would eventually cast a tie-breaking vote if the situation arises.
If Republicans had won either race, they would have continued to control the US Senate.
Who Is Jon Ossoff?
With his victory, Jon Ossoff has become the youngest senator at the age of 33.
Ossoff rose to national prominence during a 2017 special House election that the political newcomer almost won amidst a long-time conservative stronghold in Georgia. Although he ultimately lost in 2017, he has made history by becoming the youngest US Senator by winning the Georgia runoff election.
The state's first Jewish senator, Ossoff describes himself as a media executive, investigative journalist and small business owner on his campaign website.
What Does It Mean To Control the Senate?
With Warnock and Ossoff winning their respective seats against incumbent Republican candidates, the Georgia runoff elections have flipped the US Senate.
The Senate is now split 50-50 between the Democrats and the Republicans. This would give the tie-breaking vote, if the event arises, to Vice President-elect Harris. It also renders the control of both Congressional chambers to the Democratic Party.
This flip of the US Senate is crucial in furthering President-elect Biden’s legislative goals and judicial nominees during his upcoming tenure.
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