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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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While Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both had good nights Tuesday, one knocked off his opponent outright while the other was left to claim victory — but yet wait for an official nod as the clock ticked through the morning the next day.
But both men — who appeared on the verge of delivering to Democrats a Senate majority which appeared elusive just weeks ago — each gave rousing speeches designed to reignite enthusiasm for democracy and American representative government.
Warnock, who defeated the appointed Republican senator, Kelly Loeffler, left no surprise focusing his remarks on faith and public service — no surprise, given that Warnock has been serving as pastor at the same church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr once ministered.
“May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold of the American dream. So Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me. And I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia,” said Warnock, who will become the eleventh Black senator in US history. “No matter who you cast your vote for in this election, in this moment in American history, Washington has a choice to make, in fact all of us have a choice to make: Will we continue to divide, distract, and dishonor one another? Or will we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Will we play political games while real people suffer? Or will we win righteous fights together, standing shoulder to shoulder for the good of Georgia, for the good of our country.”
Meanwhile, while Ossoff — the other Democratic candidate in Tuesday’s Georgia Senate run-off elections — led his GOP rival into the late morning hours Wednesday and had himself declared victory, the Associated Press still designated the race “too early to call.”
Like Warnock, Ossoff delivered oratory meant to inspire — in his case, about Georgia’s place in history.
“This is history unfolding in Georgia right now. I want to encourage everybody to be a part of it. We can beat COVID-19, we can surge vaccine distribution and make sure testing and vaccines are free for every American. We can put Georgia’s own CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta] in charge, as it should be, of our national pandemic response,” he said. “We will be able to pass $2,000 stimulus checks for the people next week when we win these races in Georgia. Georgia voters have never had more power than you have today.
“That’s the reason the whole world is watching us in Georgia. That’s the reason everybody needs to get out to the polls and make their voices heard,” Ossoff added.
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