Early Wednesday morning, the Associated Press projected Rev. Raphael Warnock as a victor in Georgia`s historic Senate runoff elections, beating out Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler by a margin of over 46,500 votes statewide.
Warnock now becomes the first Black Democrat elected as a United States senator from any state in the South, and becomes only the 11th Black senator in the nation’s history. Moreover, it’s the first time a Georgia Democrat has won a United States Senate race in 20 years.
“To everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this,” Warnock said in a virtual victory lap as he addressed supporters from 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.”
On the other side, Warnock’s counterpart, Jon Ossoff, began to surge past opponent David Perdue for much of the night, leading by 8,500 votes. Victory doesn’t seem too far ahead either as much of the uncounted votes remain in Democrat-heavy locales of the metro Atlanta area.
Nonetheless, Republican senator Perdue`s camp has not yet conceded to defeat as they issued a statement expressing their intent to remain hopeful until all ballots are counted.
“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.”
Warnock`s victory now places 49 seats in Democratic power within the Senate as they await a win from Ossoff that would historically balance the Senate.
Georgia voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling says, however, that an official count won`t likely come until Friday.