(Update 3: adds Jon Ossoff reaction, minor edits)
Washington, Jan 6 (efe-epa).- The Democratic Party of US President-elect Joe Biden was poised to take control of the Senate after crucial victories in runoff elections in the southern state of Georgia.
The first of the two Democratic candidates in Georgia’s United States Senate poll to claim victory was Raphael Warnock, after US media projected his win with more than 97 percent of Tuesday’s vote tallied.
Warnock defeated Republican Senator and Donald Trump loyalist Kelly Loeffler, in a major blow to the outgoing US president, although Loeffler has yet to concede.
Democrat Jon Ossoff has also claimed a victory over Republican David Perdue in the other run-off vote held on Tuesday in Georgia, but US networks have not yet projected that outcome.
If confirmed, the wins would see the Democrats take control of the Upper House, which has been run by Republicans since 2016.
The Democratic Party already has a majority in Congress, the lower house. A Democrat-controlled Senate and Congress would allow US President-elect Joe Biden to pursue a more progressive agenda, particularly in areas like the environment and healthcare.
“I come to you tonight as a man who knows that the improbable journey that led me to this place in this historic moment in America could only happen here,” Warnock said in a video statement.
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election. But tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”
Warnock, a reverend at an Atlanta church that he called the “spiritual home of Martin Luther King, Jr. and (late civil rights activist and former House representative) John Lewis” is the first African-American from Georgia — a former slavery state — to be elected to the Senate. He will be just the 11th black senator ever.