Democrats to win two of three runoff races

ATLANTA — Democrats are on track to carry two of three runoff races, two of which will tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. The power shift will occur as Democrats break a streak of state-wide runoff defeats.  

Three incumbent Republicans were forced to runoffs following strong state-wide Democratic turnout in the general election held Nov. 3. For the first time since the 1992 general election, a Democratic presidential candidate carried Georgia. 

Voters took to the polls at the Dunwoody Library, precinct 105, on Jan. 5. /Photo: Jeffrey Albertson

Both Democratic Senate candidates were declared victorious on Jan. 6, the same day Pro-Trump rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The rioters vandalized congressional offices and sought to interrupt the proceedings to certify November’s election results.

While results are not yet certified by the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Senate contests are above the critical 0.5% recount margin. A recount can be requested if the margin of votes between two candidates is under that percentage. 

The results for Dunwoody’s 13 precincts are not yet available. Erik Burton, a DeKalb County elections spokesman, said results would be made available on the county’s website as certification was reached. The link is https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, holds a 73,404 vote lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta, a church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached. 

Warnock will be first African American elected to the Senate from Georgia.   

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to the U.S. Senate in Dec. 2019 after the resignation of Sen. Johnny Isakson because of health concerns. Kemp, a Republican, hoped that Loeffler’s appointment would appeal to suburban female voters and win back a once reliable voting bloc for the party. 

Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a 35,615 vote lead over Republican ex-Senator David Perdue, who’s term expired on Jan. 3, 2021. Ossoff’s political career began in a 2017 special election to fill a seat vacated by Tom Price in the 6th Congressional District. Price became the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a cabinet position he resigned from seven months later after violating government air travel rules. Ossoff was defeated by Republican Karen Handel in the special election. 

 At 33 years old, Ossoff will be first Jewish man elected to the Senate from Georgia. He will be the youngest member in the chamber. 

Republicans will retain the District 4 seat on the Georgia Public Service (PSC) Commission. Incumbent Chairman Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr. leads Democrat Daniel Blackman by 51,143 votes or 1.16%. McDonald was appointed to the PSC by former Gov. Zell Miller and won a special election in 1998. Prior to this appointment, he was a state representative for 20 years. As a Democrat, he lost a re-election bid in 2002. In 2008, he won re-election as a Republican. 

President Donald Trump’s loss in Georgia has accelerated allegations of widespread voter fraud and fanned the flames of intra-party Republican conflict. Last month, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation completed an absentee-by-mail ballot audit in Cobb County. 15,118 of 150,431 ballots were audited and found no fraudulence. Multiple courts in the state have rejected the president’s legal challenges. 

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