Democrat Raphael Warnock has won one U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, the Associated Press reported early Wednesday, leaving control of the chamber in question until the result of the state’s other runoff election is decided.
Warnock, a pastor and voting rights activist, will be Georgia’s first Black senator. He defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who has not conceded.
In a video statement released a few hours before the race was called, Warnock referred to his humble beginnings in the “Kayton Homes housing projects of Savannah, Georgia” as one of 12 children.
“So, I stand before you as a man who knows that the improbable journey that led me to this place in this historic moment in America could only happen here.”
A winner has not been called in a second Georgia Senate runoff between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. To gain control of the Senate, and bolster President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda, Democrats will need to win both seats. In that race, Ossoff held a narrow edge, according to an AP tally early Wednesday morning.
The runoff contests took place in the stormy wake of the presidential election, with President Donald Trump repeatedly making unproven accusations of fraud. He narrowly lost Georgia to Biden, and both Senate candidates found themselves pulled into the drama over the previous election.