*Results below were updated at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Democratic U.S. Senate Candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have been declared winners of the two Georgia runoff elections held on Jan. 5. The Democratic wins in the two runoff campaigns, made necessary under Georgia election law that requires majority support to win office, will effectively clinch the narrowest possible majority for Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
Democrats will now have a slim majority control of both chambers of the 117th Congress after retaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives, initially winning the lower chamber in 2018. As President-elect Joe Biden prepares for his first day in office on Jan. 20, 2021, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will assume the role of president of the evenly divided Senate and will be able to cast tie-breaking votes, giving Democrats functional control of the upper chamber.
Around 1 a.m. ET this morning, Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) was the projected victor in the Senate special runoff election over appointed U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R). At press time, Rev. Warnock’s lead is 64,488votes out of a current turnout of 4,424,426 ballots counted with a projected 98% of the vote reporting, a margin of 1.4% (50.7% - 49.3%).
As the special election winner, Rev. Warnock will stand again for election to a full six-year term in 2022. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) was elected to this seat in 2016 but resigned due to health reasons at the end of 2019. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Ms. Loeffler to replace Sen. Isakson to serve until the outcome of the special election, which determines who would hold the office for the balance of Isakson’s initial term in 2022.
Around 4 p.m. E.T. this afternoon, documentary filmmaker and 2018 House candidate Jon Ossoff (D) is was declared the winner against incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R), giving Democrats the 50 senators they need to gain control of the Senate. At press time, Ossoff leads Sen. Perdue by 27,075votes of 4,419,407ballots counted, a margin of 0.62% (50.31% – 49.69%). Ossoff wins the in-cycle seat, gaining a six-year term and will stand for reelection in 2026.
Georgia counties have until Jan. 15 to certify results, while Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has until Jan. 22 to certify the statewide results.
Impact on Contractors:
While the Georgia runoff results will garner many important impacts on the construction industry, the legislative future of several key items are certain to change.
This morning, Kristen Swearingen, ABC’s vice president of legislative and political affairs, told Construction Dive that contractors’ “livelihoods are riding on Georgia,” referencing how the ABC-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act would gain traction in a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2021.
The Georgia results could also significantly affect the chances of an infrastructure package in the 117th Congress. Peter Comstock, ABC’s director of legislative affairs, told Construction Dive, "There were a lot of good conversations about how infrastructure could impact the potential [COVID-19] recovery in the next year […] But there's always the issue, if you're going to do a multitrillion dollar infrastructure bill, of where is the money going to come from.” With Democrats in control of both chambers, a proposal could arise that is supported by the Biden administration but would require some bipartisan support with the 60-vote rule still in effect in the Senate.
ABC will continue to update members on the Georgia runoff election results and implications for the new Congress in Newsline.