Perdue concedes to Ossoff in Georgia Senate runoff

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Former Sen. David Perdue conceded his runoff race for Georgia’s Senate seat to Democrat Jon Ossoff on Friday, congratulating his opponent for the win. 

 "Although we won the general election, we came up just short of Georgia’s 50% rule, and now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win," the Peach State Republican said in a statement. 

"Bonnie and I are deeply grateful for the support millions of Georgians have shown us this year and in the six years since we first ran for the United States Senate. Serving our home state has been the honor of a lifetime, and I am very proud of how our team in Georgia and Washington, D.C. fought every day to deliver real results for all eleven million Georgians," Perdue said. 

Ossoff emerged victorious over the one-term senator by nearly 45,000 votes with 98% reporting, capturing Senate control for Democrats after Rev. Raphael Warnock beat out Republican Sen. Kelley Loeffler. With 98% of precincts reporting, Warnock was ahead by more than 83,000 votes. 

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

In the general election, Perdue was ahead of Ossoff by nearly 90,000 votes but failed to capture over 50% of the count, leading to a runoff under Georgia’s unusual election laws.

Though runoffs historically have favored Republicans in the Peach State, this election cycle’s record turnout benefited Democrats. 

With close to 4.5 million votes, overall turnout in the runoff reached nearly 90% of that in November. 

Perdue, a former Fortune 500 CEO, was at a disadvantage when it came to fundraising. Ossoff, a 33-year-old media executive, was the best-funded candidate of all time for a single congressional election. Through Dec. 16, the latest FEC filings available, Ossoff raised $138.3 million and Perdue raised $89.1 million. 

The Georgia runoffs have been some of the most expensive two months of nonpresidential politics in American history. The total ad spending in the two races reached nearly $500 million. 

That's about the amount of spending of an average presidential campaign. 

It's rare that voters head to the polls for a congressional race knowing there are such high stakes. It’s not usually clear that such races will determine the balance of power in either chamber.

Perdue, meanwhile, tied himself to President Trump’s election challenges, supporting those in Congress who vowed to contest the Electoral College results. Trump, even up until the day of the runoff election, tweeted about voting machine complications in Georgia’s "Republican strongholds." 

"Reports are coming out of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia that Dominion Machines are not working in certain Republican Strongholds for over an hour," Trump tweeted. "Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them."

In audio released by The Washington Post, Trump can be heard insisting that he won the Peach State, adding that Georgians are "angry" and may not head to the polls Tuesday in protest.

Trump dropped his lawsuits in Georgia on Thursday after a string of legal defeats while attempting to undo Biden's victory.

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