Dianne Lugo, Staff

Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s Senate runoff election. 

All eyes were on Georgia on Dec. 5 as the election was set to determine whether Democrats would flip control of the Senate. Both Democratic candidates needed to defeat their Republican opponents in order to capture the voting majority in both the House and the Senate. 

Loeffler had been appointed to her seat by Republican Governor Brian Kemp in 2019. Rev. Raphael Warnock is currently the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached. It was also the church that the late Rep. John Lewis attended. Warnock spoke at his funeral. 

Warnock finished with 50.6% of the record breaking 4.5 million votes to become Georgia’s first Black Senator. 

“The 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” Warnock said in his live-streamed address declaring victory. “The improbable journey that led me to this place in this historic moment in America could only happen here.”

“We were told that we couldn’t win this election,” Warnock added. “But tonight we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible. May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold of the American dream.”

Jon Ossoff is also leading in his contest against David Perdue. With 98% of votes counted he maintained a 17,000 vote lead. 65,000 more votes need to be counted according to election officials. Those votes are mainly from Democratic areas leading Democrats hopeful about taking Senate control. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has declared victory already. 

“It feels like a brand new day. For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people,” Schumer said in a statement. “For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate and President Trump. That will change with a Democratic Senate, Democratic House, and a Democratic President.”

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