David Perdue concedes to Jon Ossoff, ending Georgia Senate runoffs

Loeffler previously conceded

Republican David Perdue conceded to Democrat Jon Ossoff on Friday, ending Georgia’s runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate days after his campaign floated potential legal action to contest his narrow defeat.

In a statement, Perdue said he wanted to “congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win,” although he did not mention Ossoff’s name. He also falsely claimed he “won the general election” even though he did not, falling short of the majority-vote mark needed to avoid a runoff.

His concession to Ossoff came a day after U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler also acknowledged her defeat and congratulated Democrat Raphael Warnock for winning their runoff. It paves the way for both Democrats to be sworn in this month without the specter of legal challenges or calls for recounts.

Ossoff and Warnock flipped control of the U.S. Senate with their stunning victories, which made them the first Georgia Democrats to capture statewide office since 2006. It came nine weeks after another landmark win, with Georgia voting Democratic in a presidential election for the first time since 1992.

Warnock is set to become the first Black senator in Georgia history while Ossoff will become the state’s first Jewish senator.

More than 4.4 million people voted in the runoffs, which attracted intense national attention because of the high stakes of the races. Warnock won by about 85,000 votes — roughly 2 percentage points — and Ossoff was up by roughly 45,000.

National outlets projected both Ossoff and Warnock to win on Wednesday, and a day later Loeffler posted a video congratulating her opponent. But Perdue’s campaign pointed to an earlier statement promising to “mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse” for his campaign.

He conceded after election returns showed Ossoff with a widening advantage — and no path among outstanding ballots for the Republican to overtake his opponent. Ossoff’s campaign said Perdue didn’t call to deliver the news; instead it learned of the concession from news reports.

A former Fortune 500 chief executive, Perdue launched his reelection campaign with formidable advantages: an enormous campaign war chest, widespread support from the party’s base, an alliance with President Donald Trump and a powerful political network. He narrowly avoided winning the November election outright, finishing about 88,000 votes ahead of Ossoff.

But he was undone by Ossoff in the nine-week runoff. From the outset, Ossoff focused his campaign on the anti-corruption work of his investigative journalism firm, and his criticism of Perdue dovetailed into reports of the Republican’s well-timed stock trades.

Ossoff and Warnock, running as a joint ticket, also reenergized the party’s Black base, which returned to the polls in record numbers for a runoff. The continued liberal tilt of the Atlanta suburbs cemented their victories.