sunny.png
Sunday October 17th, 2021 11:44AM

Democrat Warnock wins Senate race; 2nd too early to call

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the Senate majority within the Democrats’ reach.

A pastor who spent the past 15 years leading the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. It was a stinging rebuke of outgoing President Donald Trump, who made one of his final trips in office to Georgia to rally his loyal base behind Loeffler and the Republican running for the other seat, David Perdue.

The focus now shifts to the second race between Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. That contest was too early to call as votes were still being counted. If Ossoff wins, Democrats will have complete control of Congress, strengthening President-elect Joe Biden’s standing as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20.

Warnock’s victory is a symbol of a striking shift in Georgia’s politics as the swelling number of diverse, college-educated voters flex their power in the heart of the Deep South. It marks the end of nearly two decades in which Democrats have been shut out of statewide office and follows Biden’s victory in November, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.

Warnock, 51, acknowledged his improbable victory in a message to supporters early Wednesday, citing his family’s experience with poverty. His mother, he said, used to pick “somebody else’s cotton” as a teenager.

“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said. “Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

Loeffler refused to concede in a brief message to supporters shortly after midnight.

“We’ve got some work to do here. This is a game of inches. We’re going to win this election,” insisted Loeffler, a 50-year-old former businesswoman who was appointed to the Senate less than a year ago by the state’s governor.

Loeffler, who remains a Georgia senator until the results of Tuesday’s election are finalized, said she would return to Washington on Wednesday morning to join a small group of senators planning to challenge Congress’ vote to certify Biden’s victory.

“We are going to keep fighting for you,” Loeffler said, “This is about protecting the American dream.”

Georgia’s other runoff election pitted Perdue, a 71-year-old former business executive who held his Senate seat until his term expired on Sunday, against Ossoff, a former congressional aide and journalist. At just 33 years old, Ossoff would be the Senate’s youngest member.

Trump’s false claims of voter fraud cast a dark shadow over the runoff elections, which were held only because no candidate hit the 50% threshold in the general election. He attacked the state’s election chief on the eve of the election and raised the prospect that some votes might not be counted even as votes were being cast Tuesday afternoon.

Republican state officials on the ground reported no significant problems.

This week’s elections mark the formal finale to the turbulent 2020 election season more than two months after the rest of the nation finished voting. The unusually high stakes transformed Georgia, once a solidly Republican state, into one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds for the final days of Trump’s presidency -- and likely beyond.

Both contests tested whether the political coalition that fueled Biden’s November victory was an anti-Trump anomaly or part of a new electoral landscape. To win in Tuesday's elections — and in the future -- Democrats needed strong African American support.

Drawing on his popularity with Black voters, among other groups, Biden won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes by about 12,000 votes out of 5 million cast in November.

Trump's claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election, while meritless, resonated with Republican voters in Georgia. About 7 in 10 agreed with his false assertion that Biden was not the legitimately elected president, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 3,600 voters in the runoff elections.

Election officials across the country, including the Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, as well as Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed that there was no widespread fraud in the November election. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, where three Trump-nominated justices preside.

Even with Trump’s claims, voters in both parties were drawn to the polls because of the high stakes. AP VoteCast found that 6 in 10 Georgia voters say Senate party control was the most important factor in their vote.

In Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, 37-year-old Kari Callaghan said she voted “all Democrat” on Tuesday, an experience that was new for her.

“I’ve always been Republican, but I’ve been pretty disgusted by Trump and just the way the Republicans are working,” she said. “I feel like for the Republican candidates to still stand there with Trump and campaign with Trump feels pretty rotten. This isn’t the conservative values that I grew up with.”

But 56-year-old Will James said he voted “straight GOP.”

He said he was concerned by the Republican candidates’ recent support of Trump’s challenges of the presidential election results in Georgia, “but it didn’t really change the reasons I voted.”

“I believe in balance of power, and I don’t want either party to have a referendum, basically,” he said.

Even before Tuesday, Georgia had shattered its turnout record for a runoff with more than 3 million votes by mail or during in-person advance voting in December. The state’s previous record was 2.1 million in a 2008 Senate runoff.

___

Peoples reported from New York. Bynum reported from Savannah, Ga. Associated Press writers Haleluya Hadero, Angie Wang, Sophia Tulp, Ben Nadler and Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, General Senate Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Democrat Warnock wins Senate race; 2nd too early to call
Democrat Raphael Warnock has won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the Senate majority within the Democrats’ reach
2:02AM ( 4 minutes ago )
The Latest: Democrat Warnock wins Georgia Senate race
Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock has won his Senate runoff election
2:02AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Georgia tallying final votes in key Senate runoff elections
Candidates are locked in tight races as Georgia officials tallied the final votes in two critical Senate elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
1:52AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Warnock gives what amounts to victory speech
Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock has given what amounts to a victory speech, saying he was honored by the faith that voters had shown in him and promising to work for all Georgians
12:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
Republican Party faces defining moment under Trump's shadow
The Republican Party is facing a defining moment
12:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
For media following Georgia, nail-biting and lots of numbers
It was a tense night for news organizations that gave Tuesday's vote count for the Georgia Senate runoffs the type of intense attention that the presidential election received
12:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump insists, falsely, that Pence can decertify results
President Donald Trump is tightening the screws on his most loyal soldier, pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to use powers he doesn't have to overturn the will of voters
11:11PM ( 2 hours ago )
Georgia tallies votes as US Senate control hangs in balance
Georgia officials are counting the final votes of the nation’s turbulent 2020 election season as polls closed in two critical races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
11:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
GEORGIA TAKEAWAYS: Trump's long shadow not fading yet
Ballots are still being counted in the Georgia runoffs that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and the scope of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda
10:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Hundreds of Trump supporters flock to DC ahead of vote
Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump have descended on the nation’s capital to cheer his baseless claims of election fraud a day before a congressional vote to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory
10:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
Georgia counting votes in runoffs that decide Senate control
Georgia officials have begun counting the final votes of the nation’s turbulent 2020 election season as polls closed in two critical races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
9:01PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Perdue, Loeffler backers gather at Atlanta hotel
Hundreds of supporters of Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler have gathered at a high-rise hotel in Atlanta’s Buckhead district
8:27PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Elections
Georgia deciding US Senate control, fate of Biden's agenda
Georgians are casting their ballots in two critical races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
6:42PM ( 7 hours ago )
Dividing party, Republicans poised to challenge Biden win
Republicans mounting an unprecedented attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s election win are setting up a congressional showdown
6:20PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump's false fraud claims resonate with GOP
President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims about the 2020 election have resonated with Republican voters in Georgia: About 7 in 10 agree with his false assertion that Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president
6:07PM ( 7 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
US stocks recoup some losses after sharp slide to start 2021
U.S. stocks are closing higher Tuesday, regaining their footing a day after suffering their worst loss in months amid the worsening pandemic and potentially market-moving Senate elections
4:15PM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Georgia election going well, despite Trump tweet
Georgia election officials say voting is going smoothly across the state, despite claims from President Donald Trump that some machines are not working in Republican areas
3:33PM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: No major problems reported at Georgia polls
Voters in Georgia did not appear to be encountering any major problems at the polls as of midday Tuesday
1:47PM ( 12 hours ago )
General Senate Election News
Analysis: With call, Trump shows no limit to his power grab
President Donald Trump’s ongoing efforts to overturn the 2020 election results — laid out in stark detail in an hourlong weekend phone call with a Georgia election official — are demonstrating his determination to maintain a grip on power no matter the consequences
7:00AM ( 19 hours ago )
Trump says he'll 'fight like hell' to hold on to presidency
With mounting desperation, President Donald Trump is declaring he will “fight like hell” to hold on to the presidency
12:31AM ( 1 day ago )
Biden, Trump warn of high stakes of Georgia Senate runoffs
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday told Georgia Democrats they had the power to “chart the course” for a generation as President Donald Trump urged Republican voters to “swamp” the polls ahead of runoff elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate
11:07PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
The Latest: Democrat Warnock wins Georgia Senate race
Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock has won his Senate runoff election
2:02AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Georgia tallying final votes in key Senate runoff elections
Candidates are locked in tight races as Georgia officials tallied the final votes in two critical Senate elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda
1:52AM ( 13 minutes ago )
About 50 Hong Kong activists arrested under new security law
Hong Kong police have arrested about 50 former lawmakers and activists in the largest move against the city's pro-democracy movement since a national security law was imposed last June
1:39AM ( 26 minutes ago )
No charges against Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake
A Wisconsin prosecutor has declined to file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back last summer
1:38AM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Warnock thanks supporters, voices optimism
Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock has given what amounts to a victory speech, saying he was honored by the faith that voters had shown in him and promising to work for all Georgians
1:13AM ( 52 minutes ago )