Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff said Monday that Democrats in the state “have the wind at our backs” as they seek to dispatch two incumbent Republican senators in a pair of January runoff elections that will determine control of the chamber.
“There’s a huge sense of enthusiasm and momentum here in Georgia right now,” Ossoff said in an interview on CNN, mentioning President-elect Joe Biden’s impressive performance in the state — as well as the organizing and voter registration efforts led by Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
“Now, to have two Senate runoffs for Senate control, with so much at stake — with this virus still raging out of control, with an urgent need to get economic and financial relief to families in my state and across the country — we have the wind at our backs and a great sense of promise and opportunity here,” Ossoff said.
Ossoff, an investigative journalist and former congressional candidate, competed against first-term Republican Sen. David Perdue on Election Day. Because neither Ossoff nor Perdue earned more than 50 percent support, both men will face each other again in a runoff on Jan. 5.
Also on the ballot that day will be a runoff election for Georgia’s other Senate seat, held by Republican Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed this year by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to replace the retiring Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, were the top two vote-getters on Election Day in the 21-person “jungle” primary for Loeffler’s seat — the winner of which will finish out Isakson’s term.
While national Democrats were hopeful that they could retake control of the Senate from Republicans in November, they failed to notch wins in a handful of races against vulnerable Republican incumbents. After Election Day, the balance of power in the chamber currently stands at 48 senators from each party.
The decisive nature of the Georgia runoffs means unprecedented amounts of money and campaign infrastructure are likely to flow into the state in the coming months, although Ossoff said Monday that he has not “had any specific conversations yet” with the Biden transition team about its involvement in the races.
Asked about the president-elect potentially campaigning on his behalf, Ossoff said: “Haven’t gotten that far yet, but Vice President Biden is welcome in Georgia any time.”