ATLANTA (AP) —It remained too early to call GOP Sen. David Perdue’s reelection race early Wednesday because of uncounted ballots in metro Atlanta.
Georgia was the only state with both its senators on the ballot Tuesday, with control of the Senate in the balance.
Perdue led unofficial returns as he sought a second term against Democrat John Ossoff. But Ossoff still hoped to pick up votes in populous metro Atlanta counties that lean Democratic.
Perdue, a former business executive and a close Trump ally, faces Ossoff, a documentary film producer who launched his political career with an unsuccessful 2017 run for Congress. Their race has been characterized by sharp attacks but relatively moderate political positions.
Perdue has sought to cast Ossoff as backing a “radical socialist agenda,” while Ossoff has portrayed Perdue as a “corrupt” Washington insider.
Both Perdue and Georgia’s other senator, Kelly Loeffler, were among senators whose stock trades, made just before the virus caused a downturn in the markets, came under scrutiny. Both denied wrongdoing, saying the trades were made by independent advisers and were ultimately cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Regardless, their opponents made the trades a central line of attack. Collins accused Loeffler of “pandemic profiteering,” while Ossoff accused Perdue of having “profited from the pandemic while he downplayed the risk.”
The top Democrats outraised the Republican incumbents, but the Republicans were also buoyed by outside spending. More than $160 million has been spent on television and digital advertising by candidates and outside groups in both races.
In the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, John Benson showed up nearly an hour before polls opened at the Cobb County Civic Center, waiting in near freezing temperatures. He said he wants senators who are not afraid to stand up to the president.
“Since Donald Trump been in office, it’s been like a lot of them have been scared to speak up,” Benson said.