In the November 2020 elections, no winner was declared for either of the Senate seats in Georgia. This happens when no candidate is able to acquire a majority of the votes, at least 50 percent. For one seat, Reverend Raphael Warnock won 32.9 percent of the vote, with two major Republican opponents, Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins, taking 25.9 percent and 20 percent respectively. Collins chose to concede the race after the fact, meaning that on Jan. 5, Warnock and Loeffler will be going head-to-head. For the other seat, Republican David Perdue received 49.7 percent of the vote, with Democrat Jon Ossoff close behind at 47.9 percent. The two will essentially have a “rematch” in the Jan. 5 runoff, and if both Ossoff and Warnock win their seats, then the Senate will become Democrat-controlled once again. However, both Republican opponents are the incumbents for these seats, making them difficult to beat.
Jon Ossoff’s hallmark issues are health care for all (including strengthening the Affordable Care Act), defending Medicare and Social Security, clean energy, investments in infrastructure, lower taxes for working families and small businesses, criminal justice reform, and securing Roe v. Wade and abortion rights for women. One of his more bipartisan stances is his views on gun control. Ossoff recognizes the rights of the Second Amendment and supports its existence. He advocates for universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole and a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons to the general public. Detailed explanations of all his opinions and plans can be found on his website, electjon.com.
Reverend Warnock, who can be found at warnockforgeorgia.com, champions agriculture, climate, criminal justice reform, health care, education, infrastructure, the economy, LGBT and reproductive rights, national security, voting rights and benefits for veterans and their families. He is endorsed by former President Barack Obama and Madam Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, as well as many other notable elected officials. Last week, he debated opponent Kelly Loeffler. To hear his stances in his own words, the full debate can be watched on YouTube. Ossoff and Perdue were also scheduled to debate, but Perdue declined, so Ossoff held a public forum instead, which can also be watched in its entirety.
Neither Ossoff nor Warnock have worked in politics before, but both have experience when it comes to the issues they place importance on. Ossoff is the CEO of Insight TWI, a media production company that specializes in the investigative journalism of corruption, organized crime and war crimes. Warnock grew up in a lower-class family, and his father was a veteran and a preacher. He attended Morehouse College, a historically black men’s college in Georgia, and was a preacher himself for many years.
To cast a ballot in the Georgia runoffs, one must, of course, be a legal resident of Georgia and registered to vote by Dec. 7, 2020, or before. Early voting for both elections begins on Dec. 14, so for Georgia Democrats who would like to see Democratic control of the Senate in the next term, or for those who would not like to see Ossoff or Warnock elected, casting your vote is crucial. Runoff elections typically have lower turnout because they are not as publicized, but they are just as important.