Lawmakers react to historic Democratic victories in Georgia

Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats, defeated Republican incumbent Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the runoff election Tuesday.
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Peach State is on track to send two Democratic senators to Washington, with both races outside the recount margin.

”The Republican Party in Georgia is divided,” said Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga).

Allen said many GOP voters told him they sat out these elections because they thought they were rigged. Now, Allen is concerned a Democratic-controlled federal government will raise taxes and increase business regulations.

“We can take back the House and take back the Senate in two years, and that’s going to be my goal and I’m going to work very hard to do.” Allen said.

Reverend Raphael Warnock will be the first black senator to represent Georgia. Only ten Black Americans have been senators in U.S. history.

“I was really excited about it. Georgia’s changed a great deal,” said Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.).

Florida Democratic Rep. Al Lawson, an African American leader on Capitol Hill, said this is a big moment for the Black community and for all Americans.

“To have a young man that grew up in housing projects and so forth to excel and now become a U.S. Senator,” Lawson said. “That just shows you that everything is possible in America.”

“Reverend Warnock’s ascension to this position is a major glass ceiling, but it also provides a blueprint of how these candidates can win moving forward,” said Pearl Dowe, a professor of political science and African American studies at Emory University.

Dowe said Warnock, and other Black politicians running in statewide races in the Deep South, can break barriers by focusing on key local issues. She says Georgia ranks lower than many other states in key metrics to track access to health, education and income equality. She believes Warnock and Ossoff’s campaigns resonated with many voters.

“I think what this moment calls for is that Georgians are expecting and needing something to change in order for the overall quality of life and the ability to access health care, the ability to live above the poverty rate,” Dowe said.

Both Rev. Warnock and Democrat Jon Ossoff are expected to be sworn in by the end of the month. All counties must have their results in by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. The secretary of state has until Jan. 22 to certify the results but could move forward earlier than that.

Friday is the deadline for overseas military ballots to come in, but experts say there are not enough of those to likely make a difference in the outcome of these races.

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