Democrats take control of the Senate

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 6:12 PM ET, Wed January 6, 2021
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8:07 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Warnock says he is "deeply honored" that he is Georgia's choice

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

CNN
CNN

After the Rev. Raphael Warnock was projected to win his Senate race in Georgia, he said he is "deeply honored" for being the voters' choice.

"What Georgia did last night is its own message in the midst of a moment in which so many people are trying to divide our country," he said on CNN Wednesday. "I'm deeply honored that the people of Georgia have placed their trust in someone who grew up in public housing, one of 12 children — I'm number 11 — the first college graduate in my family. And I hope to bring the concerns of ordinary people to the United States Senate."

He added:

"It is a sacred trust, and it's one that I take very seriously. And I hope to honor that promise in the work that we will do in the days ahead."

Warnock, who is the the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, says he will return to his pulpit on Sunday to preach and talk to the people.

"One of the things that I've learned from being a pastor is that it's really the people who teach you how to be a good pastor, an effective pastor. And I think it's the people who teach you how to be an effective senator," he told CNN. "So the last thing I want to do is become disconnected from the community and just spend all of my time talking to the politicians ... I have no intentions of become a politician, I intend to be a public servant."

8:02 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is about to speak

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is set to deliver remarks soon on the results in the runoff election, his campaign announced.

Ossoff is currently leading over his Republican rival Sen. David Perdue by some 16,000 votes.

Here's where the vote tally currently stands:

8:03 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Here's what Warnock says will be his first priority in Washington

Democrat Raphael Warnock, who is projected to win one of Georgie's Senate seats, said his first priority in Washington will be addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've got to respond in an intelligent and thoughtful way to this pandemic. We've got to get the vaccine safely and efficiently distributed and we need to get people the relief that they need," he said on CNN this morning.

Warnock added that he wants to work to pass further stimulus legislation.

"We ought to pass a $2,000 stimulus relief and give ordinary struggling people who are literally just trying to keep their head above water what they need, so that we can begin to get the economy going again," he said.

7:57 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

It's the morning after Georgia's election day. Here's where things stand.

Voters stand in line to cast their ballots in Atlanta on Tuesday, January 5.
Voters stand in line to cast their ballots in Atlanta on Tuesday, January 5. Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Georgia voters went to the polls yesterday to vote in two runoff elections for the state's US senators.

Here's where things stand this morning:

  • Democrats won one seat: The Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be the first Black senator from Georgia, CNN projected early Wednesday, a repudiation of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her adherence to President Trump.
  • Another race is still too close to call: The control of the US Senate now comes down to Republican David Perdue, who is running to keep his seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
  • How we got here: After no Georgia Senate candidate received 50% of the vote in November, the races turned to two runoffs. While Ossoff and Warnock ran on a unity ticket, Trump refused to concede his own loss, sparking a fight within the Republican Party and disenchanting some of his supporters, who believed his false claims that the vote was rigged.
2:37 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Perdue campaign calls for "time and transparency" as Senate race results trickle in

From CNN's Caroline Kenny

Republican candidate David Perdue’s campaign called for “time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard" in a statement early Wednesday.

“We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted. We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious,” the statement reads.

The control of the US Senate now comes down to Perdue, who is running to keep his seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

2:18 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

CNN Projection: Democrat Warnock defeats GOP Sen. Loeffler

From CNN's Marshall Cohen and Alex Rogers

Senate candidate Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to supporters during a rally on November 15 in Marietta, Georgia.
Senate candidate Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to supporters during a rally on November 15 in Marietta, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock will defeat GOP candidate Kelly Loeffler, CNN projects.

Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will make history as the first Black US senator from Georgia.

In an address earlier Wednesday, Warnock spoke to his supporters and thanked them.

"To everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this," Warnock said. "I hear you, I see you and every day I'm in the United States Senate I will fight for you."

Warnock is the first Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in 20 years, and his election is the culmination of years of voter registration drives conducted by former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams and other activists.

President-elect Joe Biden also won Georgia, the first time for a Democratic presidential candidate since the 1990s.

Some context: The party that wins the race between GOP candidate David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff will take control of the Senate.

CNN's Chris Cuomo and John Berman have more:

1:56 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Fulton County will resume counting votes in the morning

From CNN's Drew Griffin

Workers scan ballots and check for discrepancies at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia on January 5 during the Georgia Senate runoff elections.
Workers scan ballots and check for discrepancies at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia on January 5 during the Georgia Senate runoff elections. Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Election workers in Fulton County will be wrapping up and will resume counting the remaining absentee ballots at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to an announcement made inside the vote-counting center.

As previously reported, 4,000 absentee ballots have yet to be tabulated.

1:52 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

DeKalb County will manually scan remaining 19,000 ballots

From CNN's Nick Valencia

DeKalb County, in suburban Atlanta, began experiencing vote count delays early Wednesday morning due to some kind of technical issue at the election office.

Due to these issues, an election official says the 19,000 remaining ballots will be "manually scanned to be tabulated and added to the total vote count."

“Georgia’s voting system provides built-in-safeguards, in the form of paper ballots, that allow us to quickly process ballots that are electronically cast. These outstanding paper ballots are currently being scanned and the tabulation will be completed as quickly as possible and in compliance with State guidelines," Erica Hamilton, director of voter registration and elections, said in a statement.

 The county is a Democratic stronghold.

1:51 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Ossoff campaign: "We look forward to seeing the process through"

From CNN's Caroline Kenny

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s campaign has released a statement expressing confidence in winning the runoff election when "all the votes are counted."

“When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate," the statement said.

“We look forward to seeing the process through in the coming hours and moving ahead so Jon can start fighting for all Georgians in the U.S. Senate,” the statement continues.

CNN has not made a projection in the race. Ossoff is currently neck-and-neck with Republican rival David Perdue.