- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Democrats officially won control of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday when Jon Ossoff was declared the winner in his showdown against Republican Sen. David Perdue in the Georgia runoff races.

The contest marked the close of a 2020 election cycle that served as a clear rebuke of President Trump and a scorched-earth approach to politics that boiled over when mobs of the president’s supporters breached the U.S. Capitol Building.

The mayhem in Washington splashed across television screens hours after Democrat Raphael Warnock became the state’s first Black senator by ousting Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The Warnock win, projected early Wednesday morning, had put Democrats one seat away from holding the White House and both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2010.

Mr. Ossoff’s victory was the final blow. The 33-year-old becomes the youngest member of the Senate.

The twin victories will make life easier for Mr. Biden on Capitol Hill. Democrats are euphoric over bringing an end to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reign and delivering an embarrassing blow against Mr. Trump.

The Senate will be split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris holding the tie-breaking vote.

“Georgia voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: They want action on the crises we face and they want it right now,” Mr. Biden said. “Together, we’ll get it done.”

Mr. Ossoff said he was ready to partner with Mr. Biden.

“I’m looking forward to working with you to get financial relief directly to the people, beat COVID-19, and build a healthier, more prosperous, more just America for all,” Mr. Ossoff said.

With 98% of the estimated vote reported, Mr. Ossoff, an investigative journalist, had a 50.3% to 49.7% lead over Mr. Perdue. Mr. Warnock defeated Ms. Loeffler by a 50.7% to 49.3% margin.

Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Perdue had yet to concede.

“I can’t tell you how honored I am that the people of my home state where I was born and raised and educated at Morehouse College have decided to send me to the United States Senate to represent their concerns at this defining moment in American history,” Mr. Warnock said on the “Today Show.” “It is a time when people are suffering in so many ways.”

The contests in Georgia played out as several GOP lawmakers planned to object Wednesday to accepting the results of the Electoral College presidential vote.

Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler supported the challenge, making it clear they back Mr. Trump and his insistence that Democrats stole the 2020 election.

“This is the problem when you make a deal with the devil,” said Doug Heye, a Republican strategist and vocal Trump critic. “It always comes with a price.”

Mr. Trump had a major influence over the election.

He repeatedly decried the results of the Nov. 3 election, claiming that widespread voter fraud and corruption fueled Mr. Biden’s victories in Georgia and elsewhere.

Mr. Trump attacked Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans, for refusing to agree to rewrite the results.

Republicans said Mr. Trump became a distraction, hurting the candidates’ ability to get out a winning message and depressing the vote in the process.

Mr. Trump doubled down on his claims Wednesday at a rally in the nation’s capital that gave way to the attack on the Capitol.

“This year they rigged an election, they rigged it like never rigged an election before, and last night they didn’t do a bad job either,” Mr. Trump said. “We will never give up. We will never concede.

“Brian Kemp, vote him the hell out of office, please,” he said, before urging his backers to march to the Capitol to protest the election.

Speaking in Atlanta, Mr. Kemp said the images coming out of Washington are a “disgrace and frankly unAmerican” and criticized former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has led Mr. Trump’s election challenges, for using the phrase “trial by combat.”

“It is unimaginable that we have people in our state and our country who have been threatening police officers, breaking into government buildings. This is not the Georgia way and it is not the way of our country,” he said. “For those of you who have been calling for a special session, you can now see what that would look like.

“We have to come together in this state and this country as we move forward,” Mr. Kemp said.

Kevin Sheridan, a GOP strategist, said the Republican Party must do some soul-searching.

“I have always been skeptical that a real Republican civil war is coming, but now in the last week, I don’t see how it doesn’t happen in some way because I don’t know if the sides want to co-exist,” he said.

“I think it is a 10-sided war right now inside the Republican Party and it is going to be a bar room brawl for awhile.”

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