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Ossoff widens lead in Georgia, race still too close to call

Democratic candidate Jon OssoffJon OssoffThis week: Democrats move on DC statehood Warnock raises nearly M since January victory Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE's lead over incumbent Republican David PerdueDavid PerdueWarnock raises nearly M since January victory Georgia's top election official looks to shake political drama Lobbying world MORE in one of Georgia's two Senate runoff elections grew early Wednesday, but remained too close to call.

According to The Associated Press, Ossoff led Perdue, whose term in the Senate ended on Sunday, by just over 16,000 votes, well within the 0.5 percentage point margin that triggers an automatic state-run recount of the votes. Approximately 98 percent of the votes cast have been counted, the AP noted.

Ossoff declared victory Wednesday morning with the race still uncalled, thanking supporters and saying he would focus on COVID-19 relief.

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The 33-year-old media producer would become the youngest member of the U.S. Senate if elected, and his victory would guarantee a Democratic Senate majority for at least the first two years of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' MORE's presidency. The Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockSenate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week Loeffler group targets Democrats with billboards around baseball stadium Warnock raises nearly M since January victory MORE (D), who challenged Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler group targets Democrats with billboards around baseball stadium Warnock raises nearly M since January victory A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE (R-Ga.) in the other runoff, was declared the winner of that race late Tuesday evening.

“We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible,” Warnock told his supporters in a victory message Tuesday night.

Perdue was forced off the campaign trail in the waning days of the race due to COVID-19 exposure.

The contest drew national attention due to President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE's unproven claims of widespread election fraud in states in which he was defeated in November, including Georgia.

Experts worried that Trump's arguments of fraud and corruption surrounding Georgia's voting system would suppress Republican turnout, while state election officials said in the days leading up to the runoffs that they expected historic turnout for a non-presidential election year.

Updated at 8:44 a.m.