- Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock has beaten Republican candidate Kelly Loeffler in the Senate race
- Warnock is the first black senator to be elected in the state of Georgia
- The reverend will be one of three black senators in the current Congress
Atlanta pastor Raphael Warnock has beaten Republican senator Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s runoff election, becoming the state’s first black senator and delivering another blow to Georgia’s reputation as a Republican stalwart.
Warnock's victory is a landmark one; he is the first black senator in Georgia to be elected who served in the American Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.
He is also the 11th black nominee ever elected to the Senate and along with Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott, he will be one of only three black senators in the current Congress.
"We were told that we could not win this election, but tonight we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible," Warnock said.
"So Georgia, I am honoured by the faith that you have shown in me. And I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia," added the newly elected senator.
While giving his remarks early Wednesday, January 6, Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, referenced the historical significance of his victory.
He spoke about growing up in a housing project in Savannah, Georgia where his late father was a pastor, a veteran and a small businessman, and his mother, who as a teenager growing up in Georgia used to pick other people’s cotton.
"May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold to the American dream,” Warnock, who grew up in poverty, said.
The triumph of Warnock signalled a possible sea shift in the politics of Georgia. The win comes a few months after Joe Biden became Georgia's first Democratic presidential nominee since 1992 to win.
To make it to the January runoff, Loeffler and Warnock emerged from a pack of 20 candidates.
The prime opposition of Loeffler came from former Republican Doug Collins, a close Trump ally in the House who has since led the campaign to contest the defeat of the president in the state.
Democrat Jon Ossoff also won a Georgia Senate seat making him the second Democrat to win the seat after beating Republican David Perdue in one of the state’s pivotal runoffs on Tuesday.
Ossoff is a former investigative journalist who ran in the Sixth Congressional District of Georgia for Congress in 2017, narrowly losing in a runoff to Republican Karen Handel.
Few Georgian election experts expected he would defeat Perdue, given that in November, the Democrat dropped around 88,000 votes behind Perdue.
Two months later, Ossoff's victory shows stronger enthusiasm for Democratic candidates and lesser enthusiasm for Republicans.
He has sent out a barrage of tweets in which he alleges that thousands of illegal votes were submitted after the deadline on the day of the election in Pennsylvania resulting in the majority shifting to the democrats.
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