The Fight for the Senate Continues


It’s a rare predicament in America when the course of the next four years seemingly lie on the backs of two people. And yet, in a time of constant unprecedented situations and political-firsts, this country is in that unique position as the runoff races for the senate positions in Georgia draw to an uncertain close. The results of this race are highly pivotal as it will tell which party will gain control of the senate, resulting in politicians from both sides of the aisle working tirelessly to tip the congressional body in their favor.


The four aspirees in question include Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Reverend Warnock saw a modest childhood; he grew up in Kayton Homes public housing before becoming a pastor for a community church in Maryland, and eventually serving as senior pastor for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was Martin Luther King Jr.’s former congregation. On the flipside, his competitor Kelly Loeffler was raised on a farm in Illinois, where her family grew corn and soybeans. Loeffler serves as financial service provider to Intercontinental Exchange, which is owned by her husband Jeffrey Specher, giving Loeffler a net worth of $800 million. In the same vein of wealth, David Perdue, who served as CEO for Dollar General and was senior vice president for Reebok, is also one of the wealthiest senators. However born and raised in Georgia, Perdue comes from a modest background with both of his parents being schoolteachers. Lastly, Jon Ossof was born in Georgia to a Jewish family. He interned for civil rights leader and U.S Representative John Lewis, before becoming an investigative journalist. 


In tune with the vitriol of modern-day US elections, the campaign has been one of fear-mongering, controversy and deep distrust of the opposing side. One such controversy came from Kelly Loeffler’s photo with Chester Doles, a former leader of a faction of the KKK, at a rally. Loeffler’s campaign assured The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the photo was purely unintentional, saying “[Loeffler] had no idea who that was, and if she had she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for.” Adding fuel to the fire is Loeffler’s vehement denunciation of the Black Lives Matter movement, which she accused of promoting “violence and destruction.” Loeffler’s fellow Republican senator Perdue also came under fire for accusations of bigotry, when Ossoff, who is Jewish, tweeted a picture from the Perdue campaign which shows Ossoff’s nose digitally altered to appear bigger. For his part, Perdue’s campaign mimicked the response of Loeffler, which is to deny any wrongdoing and claim it was an unintentional offense. “In the graphic design process handled by an outside vendor, the photo was resized and a filter was applied, which appears to have caused an unintentional error that distorted the image,” a statement issued by Perdue’s campaign read. However while the photo was removed, many, including challenger Ossoff, dismissed the explanation as nothing but a cheap attempt to save face. “Senator, literally no one believes your excuses,” Ossoff tweeted when condemning the ad.


For the Republicans’ part, Loeffler and Perdue’s campaigns have been driven by constant warnings of the “radical Left agenda” and the prospect of socialism if the Democrats gain power. Loeffler was mocked relentlessly online for how often she referred to her challenger Reverend Warnock as “Radical Liberal Raphael Warnock” during their last debate. Ironically, Perdue and Loeffler won’t denounce the president’s claims that the election was fraudulent, nor his specific grievances against how the election played off in Georgia (Trump lost)- and yet both eagerly tell their supporters to vote for them. This seemingly hypocritical double-standard plays to the sturdy conservative Trump-base in Georgia, who not only only feel this election was stolen from them (it was not), but that if the Democrats were to win the senate along with their grip on the House and soon-to-be presidency, America will embrace a, to quote Loeffler, “radical Liberal agenda.” 


On Tuesday, January 5th all eyes will be on Georgia as a sure-to-be-tight race will help dictate the ease of Biden’s presidency. If Ossoff and Reverend Warnock win their bids, the Democrats will have control of both congressional bodies alongside a Democratic President which allows for the plans of the Biden-Harris ticket to be enacted more easily. With the entire country on edge, only time will settle the nerves of people from every ideology on this critical day.