The state of Georgia turned an even darker shade of blue Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 6, 2021, after it was announced that Democrat Jon Ossoff had defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue.
Ossoff’s win in Georgia follows the victory of the Rev. Raphael Warnock over incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler earlier Wednesday morning, making the Atlanta pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church the state’s first Black U.S. senator.
With the wins, the Democrats, who already hold a majority in the House of Representatives, now also take control of the Senate. There now are an equal number of Democrat and Republican senators, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the tie-breaking vote.
The win for Ossoff, 33, was almost eclipsed by a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., carried out by throngs of supporters of the current president. Crowds fought with police, causing them to retreat before some protesters stormed the Capitol building. That forced members of Congress, who had met to count the Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th president, to shut down operations and retreat to a safe space within the building.
Ossoff is calling for unity amid the ongoing tumult.
“At this moment of crisis, as COVID-19 continues to ravage our state and our country, when hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, millions have lost livelihoods, Georgia families are having difficulty putting food on the table — fearing foreclosure or eviction, having difficulty making ends meet — let’s unite now to beat this virus and rush economic relief to the people of our state and to the American people,” Ossoff said before his win was projected by CNN.
Biden is elated at the outcome of the two Senate races in Georgia, which will give him sweeping legislative power to enact the changes he articulated while on the campaign trail.
“Georgia’s voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: they want action on the crises we face and they want it right now,” said Biden in a statement obtained by CNN. “On COVID-19, on economic relief, on climate, on racial justice, on voting rights and so much more.”