Democrat Jon Ossoff declared victory over GOP incumbent Sen. David Perdue Wednesday morning in the second of the Senate runoff races in Georgia — despite the election not yet being formally called.
“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate. Thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me,” Ossoff said in a video streamed on YouTube.
“Whether you were for me or against me, I will be for you in the US Senate. I will serve all the people of the state, I will give everything I’ve got to ensuring that Georgia’s interests are represented in the US Senate,” he said.
Perdue has yet to concede as the two candidates remain neck-and-neck.
As of Wednesday morning, Ossoff led with slightly more than 16,000 votes, or 0.4 percent, which would trigger a recount.
In a statement earlier Wednesday, Perdue’s campaign predicted he would emerge victorious when all votes are counted.
“We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted. We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious,” the statement said.
Ossoff claimed victory hours after the Rev. Raphael Warnock was declared the winner against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
If Ossoff’s win stands, it would ensure a 50-50 split in the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris poised to cast any tie-breaking votes.
Ossoff had fallen behind Perdue on Tuesday but recovered as mail-in votes from Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold, were tallied, giving him a slight edge of just more than 9,000 votes.
Ossoff, 33, would become the youngest person elected to the Senate since Joe Biden’s win when he was 28 in 1972.
In declaring victory, Ossoff said he would work to provide relief to people in Georgia devastated by the coronavirus.
“I will work in the US Senate to support a robust public health response so that we can defeat this virus … and to rush direct economic relief to people who need help right now,” he said.
“This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state, for all the people of this state, and they will be my guiding principles as I serve this state in the US Senate, ensuring that every Georgian has great health care no matter our wealth.”
Former Vice President Biden defeated President Trump in Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes on Nov. 3.