It’s official – Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have both been projected as the winners in their U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia which will give Democrats slim majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Warnock won his race beating GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler by over 68,000 votes. Ossoff secured his win with a smaller but clear margin of more than 32,400 votes over the incumbent, Sen. David Perdue.
The margins of victory for both Democrats are larger than the threshold needed to trigger any ballot recounts under Georgia law.
The dual wins will bring the makeup of the Senate to 50 Democrats (including 2 Independents who caucus with the Dems) and 50 Republicans. With Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris serving as president of the Senate, she will break any ties thus giving control to the Dems.
The news has special significance for the LGBTQ community as the two Democrats campaigned on strong support for queer rights. Both Warnock and Ossoff promised their support and votes for The Equality Act which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights laws.
Warnock, who will be the first Black Senator from the Peach State, promised to advocate for resources to help at-risk LGBTQ youth and push to ban discriminatory federal practices that stop trans people from serving in our armed forces.
Ossoff, 33, will be one of the youngest Senators in history. He specified defending the rights of gay couples to adopt and strengthening anti-bullying programs for LGBTQ youth on his campaign website.
The Human Rights Campaign and the Georgia Voice endorsed both Democrats during their campaigns.
In November, HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement, “Both Ossoff and Warnock will prioritize the passage of the Equality Act if elected, and their historic races will be our highest priority in the coming weeks and months.”
David also noted that Perdue and Loeffler have been anti-LGBTQ extremists who would continue to “undermine the rights and well-being for all LGBTQ people.”