ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic control of the U.S. Senate came one step closer to fruition Friday after Georgia Republican David Perdue conceded his runoff loss to Democrat Jon Ossoff.
A day earlier, the GOP’s Kelly Loeffler conceded to Democrat Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s other Senate race.
Perdue thanked supporters in a statement before acknowledging his loss in Tuesday’s election, saying “I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win.”
After their contentious race marked by sharp personal attacks, Perdue’s statement did not mention Ossoff by name.
A spokesperson for Ossoff’s campaign said the Democrat had not received a call from Perdue and that they learned about his concession from media reports.
The victory means Ossoff, 33, will be the youngest sitting member of the U.S. Senate and the state’s first Jewish senator.
Perdue, a close ally of President Donald Trump, was first elected to the Senate in 2014. He led Ossoff by about 88,000 votes in November’s general election, but failed to top 50% required to avoid the runoff.
When Georgia’s two Senate contests went into overtime, Ossoff was buoyed by the national implications of the race as well as Trump’s continued false attacks on the election results.
The wins by Ossoff and Warnock mark a striking shift in Georgia’s political landscape, which has been dominated by Republicans for years. President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992 after his victory in November.
Ossoff and Warnock will be officially sworn in after the results of the election are certified. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has until Jan. 22 to certify results, though it could be done earlier.
The Democratic victories in Georgia will yield a 50-50 split in the Senate, giving the tie-breaking vote to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.