US Democrats snatch crucial seat in Georgia Senate race, second win in sight

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The US Democrats took a step closer to taking control of the Senate Wednesday after Raphael Warnock became the first African-American to win an upper house seat in the state of Georgia.

His victory comes as fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff clings to a narrow lead in the second of two runoffs being held after no candidate was able to secure more than 50 percent of the vote in the November polls.

Warnock, an Atlanta pastor, unseats Republican Kelly Loeffler in a result that deals a major blow to President Donald Trump as he exits the White House.

Thanking his supporters, the 51-year-old Warnock said his mother was among the voters who made his win in the former Confederate state possible.

“The 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said.

“Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

Meanwhile Ossoff, 33, is hoping to become the youngest newly elected Democratic senator since Joe Biden in 1973.

Early Wednesday he was leading Republican incumbent David Perdue by nearly 13,000 votes. Local news reports say most of the remaining ballots are believed to be from strongly Democratic areas.

A double victory in the Senate, handing control to the chamber to the Democrats, would represent an historic upset for Georgia, which has long been a Republican stronghold.