Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff has been declared the winner of his runoff election against former Sen. David Perdue, according to ABC News and NBC News.
BREAKING: Jon Ossoff wins U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia, NBC News projects. pic.twitter.com/Aw7iivnOfB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 6, 2021
With Ossoff's win, the Senate is now split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. In the event of a tie, the vote will be broken by the vice president, which will be Kamala Harris after Jan. 20.
Ossoff declared himself the winner on Tuesday night even though news outlets hadn't yet officially called it. In order to avoid a recount, candidates in Georgia have to win by more than .5 percent, something that was unclear as the mail-in ballots were still being counted.
But through the night, the vote totals made it clear that Ossoff was the likely winner because the remaining votes were coming from heavily-Democratic areas in Georgia.
Ossoff's lead has now surpassed 0.5%, which is the margin at which David Perdue could ask for a recount.
It sits at +0.56% (+25K votes).
Warnock's win is more decisive still: +1.5% right now.
— Taniel (@Taniel) January 6, 2021
In a speech Tuesday night, Ossoff said he was honored to be one of the youngest people ever elected to the Senate.
"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia, for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate, thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me," he said in his victory speech.
"At this moment of crisis, as COVID-19 continues to ravage our state and our country when hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, millions have lost livelihoods, Georgian families are having difficulty putting food on the table, fearing foreclose or eviction, having difficulty making ends meet. Let's unite now, to beat this virus and rush economic relief to the people of our state and to the American people."
EARLIER: Jon Ossoff declares victory in #Georgia Senate race: "It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia, for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate, thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me." pic.twitter.com/xZJ7zy16eP
— The Hill (@thehill) January 6, 2021
The 33-year-old ran a hard-fought campaign against Perdue, who was mired in a number of controversies related to his prolific and repeated use of classified Senate information for stock trades, according to The New York Times.
Voters were particularly incensed when it was revealed that he used information from a closed-door Congressional meeting about the impending COVID-19 pandemic last January to make a number of stock trades before the market knew how the country would be affected by the pandemic.
Perdue also faced backlash for intentionally mispronouncing Harris' name during a rally and for releasing advertisements with Ossoff's nose made to look larger than it actually is, as Blavity previously reported.
Ossoff is an Atlanta-born documentary filmmaker who spent time as an intern for the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis.