In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Rev. Raphael Warnock declared victory in Tuesday’s special election for one of two Georgia Senate seats, ousting incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler. As of 3 a.m. E.T., with less than 2% of votes remaining to be counted, Warnock led by a margin of 46,000 votes, or roughly 1%. NBC News, Fox News and the Associated Press projected Warnock as the winner. The victory will make him Georgia’s first black Senator, as well as as well as the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Georgia since 2000.
The race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and incumbent Republican David Perdue for the second Senate seat remained too close to call overnight, separated by a razor-thin margin. Ossoff trailed Perdue for most of the night, taking the lead after midnight with votes from Democratic stronghold DeKalb county. At 3 a.m. E.T., Ossoff led by a growing margin of 12,000 votes, with less than 2% of votes remaining to be counted.
Shortly after 1 a.m. E.T., the Ossoff campaign released a statement from campaign manager Ellen Foster, who all but declared victory: “When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate. The outstanding vote is squarely in parts of the state where Jon’s performance has been dominant. We look forward to seeing the process through in the coming hours and moving ahead so Jon can start fighting for all Georgians in the U.S. Senate.”
Republicans need to win one of the two seats to retain control of the Senate.