Ossoff declares victory with race still uncalled

Democrat Jon Ossoff declared victory in one of Georgia’s two Senate runoff elections Wednesday morning as tallies showed him leading incumbent Republican David Perdue by just over 16,000 votes.

Should his lead hold over Perdue, whose Senate term ended Sunday, Ossoff would be the youngest member of the upper chamber. Democrats would also control the Senate for the next two years following Raphael Warnock’s win in Georgia’s other runoff on Tuesday.

The Associated Press, which has not yet called the race, noted that 98 percent of the votes cast have been counted.

In a video message shared to YouTube and other platforms, Ossoff said that COVID-19 relief would be at the top of his agenda upon taking office.

“I want to thank the people of Georgia for participating in this election,” the 33-year-old said. “Whether you were for me or against me, I will be for you in the U.S Senate.”

“Georgia, thank you so much for the confidence that you have placed in me. I am honored, honored by your support, by your confidence, by your trust, and I will look forward to serving in the United States Senate with integrity, with humility, with honor, and getting things done for the people of Georgia,” he continued.

Ossoff’s lead is currently within the 0.5 percentage point margin that would trigger a statewide recount in the race.

Other Democrats congratulated him Wednesday morning including Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate-turned-activist whose voter registration efforts have been credited with helping turn out Democrats in Georgia.

“In 2017, Georgia’s next U.S. Senator @ossoff confronted a dark chapter in our nation’s story by standing for office. Now Jon Ossoff will stand for all of Georgia in the fight for healthcare, jobs + justice. And our nation will be all the better for having him. Congratulations!” tweeted Abrams.

Georgia Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) also celebrated Ossoff’s claimed victory, noting the “historic moment” for Georgia.

“Just two months after voters flipped my district blue and elected President-elect Joe Biden, we have now flipped the United States Senate. I’m thrilled to extend a warm congratulations to my soon-to-be colleagues in the Senate, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. I can’t wait to get to work together for the people of this state,” she said in an emailed statement.

Updated at 8:35 a.m.

Tags David Perdue Georgia Senate runoffs Joe Biden Jon Ossoff

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