Rev. Raphael Warnock will be the first black Democrat Senator from the South in American history.
It’s sad it took so long.
Now we wait to learn if Jon Ossoff can maintain his lead and join the Reverend in Washington, giving Democrats control of the Senate for at least the next two years.
Don’t shed any tears for Mitch McMconnell as he moves into minority status.
Excerpted from New York Times 1.6.2021
ATLANTA — Democrats moved a major step closer to capturing control of the Senate on Tuesday night as Georgia voters elected the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor at the storied Ebenezer Baptist Church, in a hard-fought runoff contest that became roiled by President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the state.
Mr. Warnock’s victory over the Republican incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, was called by Associated Press early on Wednesday morning. It represented a landmark breakthrough for African-Americans in politics as well as for Georgia: He became the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the South.
For Democrats to take the Senate, which is crucial to enacting President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s first-term agenda, they also need to win Georgia’s other Senate runoff held on Tuesday. The votes were still being counted in that race between the Republican candidate, David Perdue, and his Democratic rival, Jon Ossoff. He is currently ahead by nearly 10,000 votes.
Jon Ossoff awaits in the lead. Awaits the final result.
But turnout in rural, overwhelmingly white counties where Republicans needed a strong showing was lagging without Mr. Trump on the ballot, and many of Georgia’s heavily Black localities saw turnout levels that neared those of the presidential race in November.
While Mr. Warnock’s win was a major gain for his party — he is the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Georgia since 2000 — both political parties remained on edge over the unresolved Ossoff-Perdue race and its implications for the next two years in American politics. Whichever party wins that race will control the Senate, with Republicans counting on Mr. Perdue to prevail and give them the ability to constrain Mr. Biden’s policy ambitions.
Ms. Loeffler had rebranded herself as a hard-line Trump loyalist to fend off a challenge from the right in the first round of voting. In recent weeks, she continued to embrace the president, even using an election-eve rally with Mr. Trump in northwest Georgia to proudly declare that she would oppose certifying his loss to Mr. Biden when Congress meets on Wednesday.
Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff ran as a virtual package deal, as did the two Republicans, often appearing at events together and crafting similar messages about the stark consequences for the nation if the other side won.