dpa/GNA – The southern US state of Georgia on Tuesday will hold key runoff elections that will determine which political party controls the US Senate, the Republicans or the Democrats.
Two Senate seats, both currently held by Republicans, are up for grabs in Tuesday’s race.
The runoff is being held because no candidate succeeded in garnering the 50 per cent of the vote needed to win the election that was held in early November. On January 5, the top two contenders from each race will face off again.
In one of the races, incumbent Republican candidate David Perdue, 70, is up against the much younger Democratic candidate John Ossoff, the 33-year-old former head of a documentary film company.
Ossoff spent five years working for a Democratic Congressman from the state capital Atlanta prior to working in media.
Perdue, a staunch ally of US President Donald Trump, has been in the Senate since 2015.
In the other race, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, 50, is running against the Reverend Raphael Warnock, a 51-year-old newcomer to politics.
Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate in 2019 by Georgia’s governor after the previous senator resigned, is running to hold onto her seat.
Her Democratic opponent helped co-found the New Georgia Project, a voting rights organization, and is a pastor for the church where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr preached.
The outcome of the race will impact how easily Democratic President-elect Joe Biden can implement his agenda.
If Republicans win just one of the two races, they will maintain control of the upper chamber of Congress. If the Democrats win both, the Senate will be split, but the vice president, which in the new administration will be Democrat Kamala Harris, can act as a tie breaker.
Biden spoke at a rally in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday and urged voters to send Ossoff and Warnock to Congress, arguing that Perdue and Loeffler are more loyal to Trump than they are to the people of Georgia.
“By electing John and the Reverend you’ll be sending a powerful message to Congress and to the country, that’s it’s time for this nation to finally come together,” Biden said.