WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats are on the verge of taking back the United States Senate after both of the party’s candidates defeated incumbent Republican senators in two Georgia runoff elections.
Democrat Raphael Warnock challenged Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler while Jon Ossoff challenged Sen. David Perdue in Tuesday’s runoffs. Warnock and Ossoff were both named the projected winners on Wednesday.
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election,” Warnock said.
In defeating incumbent Sen. Loeffler, Warnock became Georgia’s first Black senator.
“The other day, because this is America, 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States Senator,” Warnock said.
Hours after Warnock’s runoff race was called for him, Ossoff claimed victory over incumbent Republican Perdue.
“Thank you for the trust you have placed in me,” Ossoff said. “Whether you were for me or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate.”
While the vote count is still being finalized, Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said he is eager to welcome both senators to Capitol Hill and become the next Senate majority leader.
“(To) help achieve a forward-looking agenda and deliver bold change to the American people,” Sen. Schumer said.
With both Ossoff and Warnock victories, Democrats will control both houses of Congress and the White House. They haven’t had control of all three since 2009, and it could make President-elect Joe Biden’s job a whole lot easier.
In a statement Wednesday, Biden said he looks forward to working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer.
The news of Warnock and Ossoff’s wins came Wednesday as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to protest the results of the presidential election. The protests forced lawmakers into hiding and halted the Electoral College tally.
But despite those actions, lawmakers reconvened and worked through the night to confirm Biden’s win. The president-elect will now be inaugurated on Jan. 20, likely with a Democratic Senate by his side.