Georgia Democrats Ossoff And Warnock Sworn In, Senate Officially Flips Blue
Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock have been sworn into the United States Senate after winning their respective runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5, officially handing control of the chamber — and the 117th Congress — to the Democrats.
Kamala Harris performed the ceremony hours after her own historic swearing-in as vice president earlier on Wednesday.
She also swore in Alex Padilla, who now holds her former California Senate seat as the state’s first Latino senator.
In her new role, Harris will likely be called upon to cast tie-breaking votes in Senate, which is split 50-50 between the Democratic and Republican caucuses.
Ossoff, 33, and Warnock, 51, emerged victorious earlier this month, respectively defeating Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who had aligned themselves with now-former President Donald Trump and his effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
The twin runoffs led to record-breaking political ad spending ― more than $440 million ― as Democrats worked to turn out more voters and Republicans tried to paint their opponents as radicals.
But Perdue and Loeffler’s strategy put them in the awkward position of standing against the leaders of their own party in Georgia, which broke for President Joe Biden in November. Despite pressure from Trump, state officials — including the Republican governor and secretary of state — stood by their ballot count.
In the end, Ossoff won 50.6% of the vote, and Warnock got 51%.
Warnock, a pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, is Georgia’s first Black senator.
Ossoff is the youngest person to become a sitting senator since Biden, who was 30 in 1973 when he joined the Senate.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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