Georgia Senate Runoffs Draw National Attention


By Eunice Chi, Staff Writer

Georgia’s two runoff elections, set for tomorrow, January 5, have thrown the state into the political spotlight- but why? The results of these elections will determine which party controls the Senate- whether Democrats will grant President Elect Joe Biden the ability to easily push through his agenda, or if Republicans will be given the power to affect his plans. 

A runoff election is held when no candidates meet the original criteria for winning- the majority of the vote. In this situation, the top two candidates then partake in a “rematch” to determine the winner. Republican Senator David Perdue will campaign against Democrat Jon Ossoff, while Senator Kelly Loeffler will be against Democrat Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock. 

In addition to Senate control, the runoff results will have a heavy influence on the future of LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in America. The Republican platform, which still stands againt same-sex marriage, combined with the policies of the four Georgia candidates, leaves LGBTQ+ Americans with particularly high stakes.

“The Georgia runoffs are significant because the Senate has the power to make important decisions regarding COVID, healthcare, the climate, and many other issues which will have substantial effects on our futures,” said Deanna Gaber, sophomore.  “This is why I believe it is important for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock to win so control can be turned over to a party who supports green energy, strengthening Medicare, offering all citizens an affordable public healthcare option, and listening to what scientists have to say about COVID.”

Loeffler and Perdue both have concerning track records when it comes to LGBTQ rights- examples include Loeffler’s $3,800 donation to an anti-LGBTQ adoption agency in Georgia and both Loeffler and Perdue’s support of Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Green, who promotes false and dangerous anti-LGBTQ (and racist, anti-Semitic, transphobic) messages from QAnon- a FBI classified domestic terror threat. Ossoff and Warnock have both pledged their support to the Equality Act (which adds protections against discrimination based off sexuality and gender identity), and have promised strong and outspoken allyship towards the LGBTQ community.

In conservative leaning Georgia, Democrats have struggled in such races- but with the enormity of this runoff looming, both parties are expected to use resources to the best of their ability in drawing out voters.

More than 1.6 million ballots have been cast in the runoffs already, and