Newswire: Georgia’s Senate runoffs: Warnock makes history with runoff win, Ossoff ahead

From USA Today and other reports

Warnock and Ossoff

Democrats appear on the brink of taking control of the U.S. Senate with Raphael Warnock the projected winner over Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Jon Ossoff leading Republican Sen. David Perdue in Georgia’s two Senate runoff elections.
Around 2 a.m. ET Wednesday, the Associated Press projected Warnock the winner over Loeffler after the Atlanta pastor built his statewide lead to more than 46,500 votes.
Warnock made history with his election win, becoming the first Black Democrat elected as a U.S. senator from a state in the South and only the 11th Black senator in the history of the nation. He becomes the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race in Georgia in 20 years.
“To everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this,” Warnock said as he declared victory in a video from his home. “I hear you, I see you, and every day I’m in the United States Senate, I will fight for you. I will fight for your family.”
Warnock, who leads Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler by more than 54,000 votes, is the projected winner in his race. Ossoff leads Republican David Perdue by 17,025.
The Georgia Secretary of State says there are 62,000 mail-in votes, mostly from Democratic leaning Dekalb County that still need to be counted. There are also 5-10,000 provisional ballots that voters have until Friday to cure discrepancies to get these counted. There are also some military ballots that can be accepted and counted by Friday.
When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate,” Ossoff campaign manager Ellen Foster said in a statement. “The outstanding vote is squarely in parts of the state where Jon’s performance has been dominant.”
The Perdue campaign was not ready to concede. In a statement, the Perdue campaign said the race — as they expected – is “an exceptionally close election that will require time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard.
“We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted. We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious.”
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia voting system implementation manager, said he expects most ballots to be counted by Wednesday but for final counts will not be until Friday.
Georgia election officials said turnout Tuesday shattered the previous record for a run-off in the state, including more than 3 million who voted early. Nearly $500 million was spent on campaign ads since Nov. 4, indicative of the significance both parties and special interests placed on the race.
Following the playbook that helped Republicans retain control of the Senate after the general election, Loeffler and Perdue attacked their opponents as “radical socialists” and said the fate of nation was at stake with the race.
Ossoff and Warnock slammed Loeffler and Perdue for being part of a Republican-controlled Senate that for months refused to pass additional federal coronavirus relief.
The election of two Democratic Senators from Georgia will give the Democrats control of the U. S. Senate. Although there will be a 50 to 50 tie, Vice President Kamala Harris will be able to cast the deciding tie breaking vote as President of the Senate.
This means that New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer takes over as Senate Majority leader from Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The Democrats will control and be able to name committee chairs of all legislative committees.
This also means that the Biden-Harris Administration will be able to have more success in passing its legislative agenda, approving cabinet and judicial appointees to the new Administration.

Newswire: Georgia voters will decide fate of Senate and a new South

News Analysis By Rev. Jesse Jackson 

GA Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock

( – On Jan. 5, Georgia voters will decide the runoff for their two U.S. Senate seats. Their votes will determine whether Republicans retain control of the Senate or whether Democrats gain a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote.
The race is a microcosm of America’s struggle to find a way forward and of Georgia and the South’s struggle to build a new South. The two Democratic challengers reflect the new age still waiting to be born. Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is a distinguished heir to the King tradition.
Thirty-three-year-old Jon Ossoff, educated at Georgetown and the London School of Economics, was born and raised in Atlanta, interned for the late Rep. John Lewis and served as a national security staffer to Rep. Hank Johnson. He has been CEO of Insight TWI, a London based documentary maker that focuses on detailing corruption in foreign countries.
Both Rev. Warnock and Ossoff have put forth a moderate platform for change. Both support immediate action to forestall an economic collapse as the pandemic spikes. With Republicans blocking action in the Senate, millions now face an end to unemployment insurance, an end to the eviction moratorium — with one-third of households behind on their rent or mortgages — and an end to the student debt moratorium, with millions of young people still struggling to find jobs. Without assistance, states and localities will be forced to cut services and lay off employees like teachers and firefighters.
Both Warnock and Ossoff support strengthening the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option and reducing prescription drug prices but oppose Medicare for All. Both call for bold action to deal with the reality of catastrophic climate change but oppose the Green New Deal. Both are for lifting the minimum wage, and for assistance to small businesses. Their Republican opponents are the sitting senators — Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Both Loeffler and Perdue are multimillionaires. Both were charged with insider trading, selling stocks after receiving private briefings on the threat posed by the pandemic. Both dubiously claimed that their advisers made the trades without their knowledge.
Both tout themselves as Donald Trump supporters. They oppose the Affordable Care Act, and support alternatives that would leave hundreds of thousands of Georgians without health care. Both, lavishly supported by oil and gas interests, refuse to consider climate change a major threat. Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, a women’s professional basketball team, loudly denounced support given to the Black Lives Matter movement, leading her players to wear T-shirts saying Vote Warnock. Neither Perdue nor Loeffler bother to offer a serious agenda to address the problems that Georgians face. They joined Republican leader Mitch McConnell in blocking the rescue act in the midst of the pandemic.
Neither Loeffler nor Perdue have a clue or a care for working for poor people in Georgia. So how do they hope to get elected? Both have adopted the same strategy: echo Donald Trump’s divisive race-based populism and benefit from systematic suppression of the vote. They’ve booked nearly $200 million in vicious attack ads against their opponents, painting them as a threat to all things American.
Perdue falsely paints Ossoff as a “radical socialist.” In a classic anti-Semitic trope, Perdue’s campaign released an ad that lengthened Ossoff nose. Loeffler paints Warnock as a “radical” who will “change this country forever,” nonsensically promoting herself as the “firewall in stopping socialism in America.” In her stump speech, in less than 45 seconds, she wildly links the distinguished minister to Obama’s minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Fidel Castro, George Soros, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Loeffler and Perdue won’t admit that Joe Biden won the presidential election, nor that he won Georgia. Adopting Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud, they wrote a joint letter calling for the resignation of the Georgia secretary of state, a conservative Republican supporter of Donald Trump.
He scorned the demand as “laughable.” What isn’t laughable is the long lines that black voters had to suffer in order to cast a vote in the primaries and November election. For years, Georgia — controlled by Republicans — has passed various measures to suppress the votes of minorities and the young, including gerrymandering districts, requiring photo ID, aggressive purging of voter rolls, and more. Notably, as the electorate has grown by over 2 million in the last seven years, Georgia has reduced the number of voting places by 10 percent. This has had a disproportionate effect on young and nonwhite voters whose registrations have surged. The contrasting campaigns make it clear that a vote for Loeffler or Perdue is a vote for continued dysfunction and obstruction.
A victory by either would further commit Republicans to Donald Trump’s toxic use of race-based division, lies and calumnies to divide working people, gaining victories for those who serve the rich and corporations. Two of the wealthiest senators, Loeffler and Perdue personify the con. Neither America nor Georgia can move forward until the growing majority that is desperate for change overcomes the systematic efforts to divide and suppress.
This country cannot begin to address the threats it faces – the pandemic, the economic collapse, corrosive and extreme inequality, catastrophic climate change, racial inequity, growing insecurity and a declining middle class – until those standing in the way are defeated. Loeffler says the “future of the country is at stake on January 5.” Of her many delusions, that one may be the closest to the truth.