Georgia Democrat Warnock wins Senate runoff race

The second Georgia Senate race between Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Osoff is still too close to call.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

American media outlets are calling one of Georgia’s Senate races for Democrat Raphael Warnock, a pastor and first-time political candidate.

Warnock, 51, will be Georgia’s first black senator. He thanked his mother in a victory speech.

“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.”

Warnock’s opponent, Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, has not yet conceded. She sent out a message to her supporters shortly after midnight, saying the battle was not over.

““We’ve got some work to do here,” she said. “This is a game of inches. We’re going to win this election.”

The second Senate race, between Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, is still too close to call. If Ossoff wins, the Democrats will have a majority in Congress.

According to Georgia law, candidates may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.

Although the race was still uncalled at that time, members of the Squad, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) celebrated Warnock’s victory via Twitter last night.

“For every organizer, volunteer, campaign staff, donor and cheerleader who is crying tears of joy, we see you and thank you! Rest up, you have earned it!” wrote Omar.

“We got Mitch out the way,” Tlaib wrote, referencing Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Republican senator from Tennessee who currently serves as Senate majority leader.

“Thank an organizer,” Ocasio wrote. In a follow-up tweet, she wrote, “Thank you to ALL the people and grassroots organizations doing the thankless, often-overlooked, mission-critical work of change.”

In December, Orthodox Jewish groups wrote an open letter expressing concerns about Warnock’s history of anti-Israel comments.

The rabbis cited a letter Warnock signed in 2018, which said Israeli presence in Judea and Samaira was similar to “military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa.”

In a 2018 sermon, he said Israelis shot down “unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey.”

On a video call hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Warnock walked back his previous statements.

“I am a staunch ally and supporter of Israel and I echo without reservation Dr. King’s perspective that Israel’s right to exist as a state and in security is incontestable,” he said.

AP contributed to this report.