Perdue concedes to Ossoff in Georgia

Republican David Perdue conceded his loss in his Senate runoff election in Georgia on Friday, acknowledging Democrat Jon Ossoff as the winner.

In a statement, Perdue noted that while he finished ahead of Ossoff in the November general election, he had fallen short in the Jan. 5 runoff election, one of two in Georgia that helped hand Democrats control of the Senate.

"Although we won the general election, we came up just short of Georgia's 50% rule, and now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win," Perdue said. "Bonnie and I will continue to pray for our wonderful state and our great country. May God continue to bless Georgia and the United States of America." 

Perdue's concession came two days after The Associated Press and several media outlets declared Ossoff the winner. The latest returns show Ossoff leading Perdue by a single percentage point, a narrow margin but still big enough for Democrats to avoid a recount.

In acknowledging his loss, Perdue joins his state's other senator, Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in conceding. Loeffler lost her runoff to Democrat Raphael Warnock on Wednesday, as well. 

The dual Democratic wins mean that for the first time in nearly 20 years, Georgia will be represented by two Democratic senators in Washington. 

Warnock and Ossoff's wins also mean that Democrats will effectively control the Senate when President-elect Joe Biden takes office later this month. The upper chamber will be split 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans, though Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast tie-breaking votes.

Loeffler and Perdue's concessions came at a tumultuous time in Washington and for the GOP, following pro-Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol spurred by President Trump's months-long refusal to acknowledge his own loss in the 2020 presidential election.

Perdue, a former corporate executive, was first elected to the Senate in 2014. His first term in the chamber expired last Sunday. 

"Bonnie and I are deeply grateful for the support millions of Georgians have shown us this year and in the six years since we first ran for the United States Senate," Perdue said on Friday. "Serving our home state has been the honor of a lifetime, and I am very proud of how our team in Georgia and Washington, D.C. fought every day to deliver real results for all 11 million Georgians."