ATLANTA — In a contentious and heated campaign, Democrat Jon Ossoff beat out incumbent David Perdue to become one of Georgia’s two U.S. senators, ABC News projects.
Ossoff, the CEO of a media production company that specializes in investigative documentaries, first came to political prominence in Georgia when he ran against Karen Handel in a special election to fill Georgia’s 6th Congressional district after that seat was vacated by Rep. Tom Price who became Health and Human Services Secretary at the beginning of the Trump administration.
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Earlier in the day, Ossoff said one of his top priorities will be uniting our country.
“We can reunite this country behind the cause of defeating COVID-19. We are not one another’s enemies. We are all in this together. We’re just not being reminded of that enough by our present political leadership,” Ossoff said.
On Tuesday, the other senate race was called for Rev. Raphael Warnock. He makes history as the first Black Senator from Georgia.
The unusual importance for the runoffs has transformed Georgia, once a solidly Republican state, into one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds during the final days of President Donald Trump’s presidency.
President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia with more than 12,000 votes in November.
Even before Tuesday, Georgia had shattered its turnout record for a runoff with more than 3 million votes by mail or during in-person advance voting in December. The state’s previous record was 2.1 million in a 2008 Senate runoff.
[EXPLAINER: Georgia’s role in balance of power for U.S. Senate]
The early turnout was expected to benefit Democrats, as it helped Biden in November become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. Republicans were counting on a big turnout on Tuesday to make up for the Democrats’ perceived early vote advantage.
This week’s elections mark the formal finale to the turbulent 2020 election season more than two months after the rest of the nation finished voting.
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