Both Georgia Senate Races Headed to Runoffs

by Davon Johnson

Nov. 6, 2020

No winner has been picked for either of the Georgia Senate races and now will result in a run-off on Jan. 5, 2021 to determine control of the U.S. senate.

The races between Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and incumbent Republican David Perdue, and special election senate race between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, will spend the next several weeks battling for the last two Senate seats. 

Georgia election law requires a candidate to secure

over 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate can do so, then the top two candidates in the race face off in a runoff election.

Ossoff’s recent rise in vote totals has caused Perdue to fall under the 50 percent mark required to win the Nov. Senate race outright, and with all the results in, Perdue was unable to reach that number.

Reid Derr, 67, Chairman of the Bulloch County Republican Party, sees a run-off in the Senate race as an unfortunate circumstance and wishes the campaign season did not have to lead into next year.

“I’m sorry we have to have a runoff, we have been inactive in electoral politics since March,” Derr said. “Extending it to a January fifth makes for a long political season.”

The rural areas are where Perdue was able to take his lead on Ossoff, but many of the latest Senate votes have come out of the Metro-Atlanta area, which is highly populated with Democratic voters, keeping Ossoff close in the race.

Loeffler, who was appointed by Atlanta Governor Brain Kemp to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired at the end of 2019. This year’s special election race was held to determine who will serve the remaining two years of Isakson’s term. 

The special senate race had Warnock leading throughout Tuesday’s election night with 32.9 percent of the vote,

compared to Loeffler’s 25.9 percent. Republican Doug Collins was able to take 20 percent of the votes finishing third in the race. Now with Collins no longer featured on the ballot, Warnock could have a hard time if those support figures run in Loeffler’s direction.

William Gwell, 51, a Bulloch County resident, is not too concerned about the run-off elections and just prefers that the Republican Party wins.

“The way the Democratic Party is going, they are leaning too socialist for my liking,” said Gwell. “Trump train all the way baby, and I pretty much did a straight republican ticket all the way.”

Emily Zanieski, a Statesboro resident, talks about the youth’s voice in this year's presidential and Senate elections. Stating that young adults are a big portion of the community and that voting is the best way to get their voices heard.

 

Warnock, who is also a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, has struck a chord in many Georgian’s since his campaign began as protests from the Black Lives Matter Movement brought his campaign to the forefront. 

Jessie Whitley, 60, a Bulloch County resident, addressed why he voted for special Senate race candidate Democrat Warnock over Sen. Republican Loeffler.

“I like the way he spoke about the things that were concerning, and I truly agree with some of the things that he was speaking about,” Whitley said. “I thought that he would probably be the best candidate to take that into the house.”

 

According to an Atlanta-Journal Constitution article, both party’s campaign managers have expressed confidence in the weeks to come. 

“If overtime is required when all of the votes have been counted, we’re ready, and we will win,” Perdue campaign manager Ben Fry said.

Ossoff’s campaign manager Ellen Foster said Georgians “are going to send Jon to the Senate to defend their health care and put the interests of working families and small businesses ahead of corporate lobbyists.”

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