Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue in Tuesday’s runoff election.
The Associated Press called the race with 98% of the vote in. Ossoff received 2,222,133 million votes, 50.3% of the total, while Perdue received 2,197,274 million votes, 49.7%, according to the New York Times. The Senate will now be divided 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaker for the Democrats.
Jon Ossoff defeated David Perdue and the Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The two Republicans had the backing of President Trump in the runoff elections. https://t.co/BrxO6bmb7r
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 6, 2021
Perdue had been in quarantine since Thursday after coming into close contact with a campaign staff member who later tested positive for coronavirus and was not able to campaign in person or travel throughout the state.
Ossoff had the support of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who both campaigned for him in the state. Biden spoke for around an hour on Monday for Ossoff.
President Donald Trump campaigned Monday night for Perdue and Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who also faced a runoff Tuesday, telling voters that the two Senate runoffs would decide the future of the country. Perdue was originally scheduled to appear, but could not due to his quarantine.
Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock also won his runoff race against Loeffler after the election called for Warnock around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Perdue had a small lead over Ossoff in the November election, who previously lost his race for Georgia’s 6th congressional district in 2017 in a runoff election against Republican Karen Handel. Perdue led by just over 90,000 votes with 99% of the vote counted, just short of the required 50% of the vote total to prevent a runoff. (RELATED: Twitter Refuses To Flag Ossoff’s False Accusation That ‘Kelly Loeffler Campaigned With A Klansman’)
One of Ossoff’s latest advertisements featured former President Barack Obama and singer-songwriter John Legend. In the video, Obama said Ossoff will work towards affordable health care, fixing the economy and to pass a new voting rights act if elected. Obama endorsed Ossoff earlier in the year and attended a virtual rally telling people to get out and vote, according to Ossoff’s campaign website. (RELATED: Jon Ossoff Campaign Ad Features Barack Obama And John Legend)
In late December, Perdue called Trump’s proposal to provide $2,000 in direct payments to Americans “the right thing to do for people in Georgia,” something a majority of Senate Republicans would not get behind.
Perdue was criticized by Ossoff and called a “coward,” after Perdue declined to debate.
“It’s a strange situation to be asking a question of a sitting United States senator who is not here to debate as he asks for the votes of the people to be reelected,” Ossoff said on Dec. 5.
Ossoff and Georgia Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock’s historic fundraising numbers. Both raised over $100 million in the past two months, breaking Senate fundraising records and out-raising Perdue and Loeffler. Perdue and Loeffler raised over $130 million in total, as of Dec. 25, reporting $68 and $64.1 million, respectively.
Nearly 3.1 million people had already voted prior to election day in the runoff races, which is 40% of all the registered voters in the state, according to data put together by the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project, The New York Times reported.