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Ossoff challenges Perdue to three debates ahead of January Senate runoff

Ossoff challenges Perdue to three debates ahead of January Senate runoff

Democrat Jon OssoffJon OssoffDemocrats seek new ways to expand Medicaid in holdout states Stacey Abrams calls on young voters of color to support election reform bill MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' MORE on Monday challenged Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE (R-Ga.) to three televised debates ahead of their January Senate runoff election in Georgia.

“Our country continues to face great challenges  acute public health and economic crises, persistent economic hardship for working families, unequal justice under the law, deep political divisions, and widespread corruption in our political system,” Ossoff wrote in a letter to Perdue.

“Georgians deserve to hear their candidates for U.S. Senate debate these issues publicly,” he added. “I am asking you to join me in committing to three live, in-person debates sponsored by media organizations throughout our great state. Georgians deserve nothing less.”

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Ossoff and Perdue advanced to a runoff election last week after neither candidate managed to pass the 50 percent vote threshold required to win the Senate contest outright. Perdue leads Ossoff in the initial vote 49.7 percent to 47.9 percent.

The runoff between Ossoff and Perdue is one of two Senate runoffs expected in Georgia in January. A special election to fill the seat previously held by former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Loeffler group targets Democrats with billboards around baseball stadium Warnock raises nearly M since January victory MORE (R-Ga.) also advanced to a runoff last week after no candidate passed the 50 percent threshold. In that race, Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE (R-Ga.) will compete against Democrat Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats seek new ways to expand Medicaid in holdout states Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE

The dual runoffs in Georgia will be pivotal in determining which party controls the Senate for at least the next two years. Republicans are likely to enter 2021 with 50 seats in the chamber. If Democrats win both of Georgia’s seats in the January runoffs, it will effectively give them control of the chamber, given President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenExpanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back MORE and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden, Harris send well wishes for Father's Day The U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation MORE’s victory in the White House race over the weekend. Harris would become the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

Ossoff projected confidence in Democrats’ chances of winning both Senate seats in Georgia in January, telling CNN in an interview that there is “a huge sense of enthusiasm and momentum” behind his and Warnock’s campaigns.

“To have two Senate runoffs for Senate control, with so much at stake, with this virus still raging out of control, with an urgent need to get economic and financial relief to families in my state and across the country,” he said. “We have the wind at our backs and a great sense of promise and opportunity here.”