With wins in Georgia, Democrats to gain full control but Trump threatens veto

Published January 6, 2021
Democrat Jon Ossoff claimed victory on Georgia’s second Senate seat on Wednesday. — Reuters
Democrat Jon Ossoff claimed victory on Georgia’s second Senate seat on Wednesday. — Reuters

Democrat Jon Ossoff claimed victory on Georgia’s second Senate seat on Wednesday, hours after another Democrat, Raphael Warnock, won the first.

US President Donald Trump, also a Republican, however, refused to accept the results, declaring that like the Nov. 3 presidential election, today’s vote was also rigged. He also threatened to use his presidential veto, although he did not explain how and why, and asked Vice President Mike Pence to undo all elections since Nov 3.

“THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR COUNTRY, NEEDS THE PRESIDENCY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE — THE POWER OF THE VETO. STAY STRONG,” he wrote in an all-caps tweet.

“The states (who voted for Democrats) want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus the corrupt process never received legislative approval,” he wrote in another tweet. “All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

Thousands of Trump supporters gathered outside the White House on Wednesday to express their support for his demand to cancel the election results.

"You have to get the people to fight. And if they do not fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight,” said Trump while addressing this large crowd of supporters. “You primary them, we are going to let you know who they are. I can already tell you, frankly.”

Democrats in complete control

The victory would prove to be a symbol of a striking shift in Georgia’s politics as the swelling number of diverse, college-educated voters flex their power in the heart of the Deep South. It marks the end of nearly two decades in which Democrats have been shut out of statewide office and follows Biden’s victory in November, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.

It would also give Democrats control over both chambers of the US Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives — as well as the White House.

Ossoff will be the youngest Democrat elected to the Senate since Joe Biden in 1973 and the first Jewish American senator from Georgia, a southern state where ethnic and racial tensions still run high.

On Tuesday night, Democrat Raphael Warnock became the first African American senator from Georgia by beating Republican incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler in one of the state’s pivotal Jan 5 runoff elections.

With nearly all the ballots counted, Ossoff now leads Perdue by 17,025 votes. He received 2,211,603 or 50.2 percent of the total votes cast on Tuesday against Perdue’s 2,194,578 (49.2 percent) votes.

Warnock received 2,230,231 or 50.6 percent of the total votes while Republican Loeffler got 2,176,048 votes, which is 49.4 of the total votes. He leads Ms. Loeffler by 54,183 votes. Even the Associated Press, which is often the last to confirm election results, has endorsed Warnock’s victory. The AP has not yet confirmed Ossoff’s win, though.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said on Wednesday. “Everybody who cast your ballot — … for me, or against me — I'll be for you in the US Senate," he said. "I will serve all the people of the state."

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not yet conceded the race.

Warnock is the 11th Black candidate elected to the Senate and one of the only three — including Cory Booker (D) and Tim Scott (R) — in the 100-member legislative body.

Georgia is the home state of Martin Luther King Jr. and its Black community has always played a leading role in campaigns for equal rights.

Warnock, 51, recalled in his victory message that his mother used to pick “somebody else’s cotton” as a teenager.

“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a US senator,” he said. “Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

But President Trump told the Democrats it’s still too early for them to celebrate.

“These scoundrels are only toying with the Senator David Perdue (a great guy) vote. They’ve got as many ballots as are necessary. Rigged Election,” he wrote in another tweet. “They just happened to find 50,000 ballots late last night. The USA is embarrassed by fools. Our Election Process is worse than that of third world countries!”

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