Georgia defies odds by electing two minorities as Senators

%28left+to+right%29+Senators+Warnock+and+Ossoff+with+Senate+Majority+Leader+Chuck+Schumer.+The+election+of+Ossoff+and+Warnock+is+a+big+deal+for+the+country%27s+politics.+They+held+a+press+conference+discussing+the+COVID+relief+Senate+Democrats+are+working+to+deliver.+

Used with permission from Senate Democrats on Flickr

(left to right) Senators Warnock and Ossoff with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The election of Ossoff and Warnock is a big deal for the country’s politics. They held a press conference discussing the COVID relief Senate Democrats are working to deliver.

Brooke Eldridge, Opinions and Arts and Entertainment Editor

Georgia has been considered a conservative state since 1964, so when a Jewish man and a baptist Black man were elected as Georgia’s senators in the 2020 election, it came as a surprise to many.

Because Georgia was the state that held a runoff election to determine the outcome of the Senate, the fate of the Senate rested in the voters’ hands. Because the 2020 election has been considered by many as “the most important election ever,” Georgia’s vote meant even more to the country than it would have in previous elections. For this reason, many made it a priority to get people out to the polls and vote. Stacey Abrams, a Georgia politician and lawyer, was a significant influence on Georgia turning blue because she recruited over 800,000 new voters across the state. Without her perseverance, Georgia would most likely remain a red state and the Senate would stay in Republican hands.

Georgia’s Senate runners, Jon Ossoff (D), Raphael Warnock (D), David Perdue (R) and Kelly Loeffler (R), went through many events and debates to encourage voters to support them in the election. In the end, Ossoff won against Perdue by 0.7% and Warnock won against Loeffler by 1.6%. This was a huge victory for Democrats. Not only did Georgia flip the Senate blue, but Georgia elected two minorities. As a state that has a long history of prejudice and conservatism, it’s refreshing to see Georgia growing out of its roots and working to be more progressive.

Katy Gates, a member of Raphael Warnock’s campaign, says that the election of Ossoff and Warnock not only has huge ramifications for Georgia, but for the nation as a whole. 

“Democrats in the Senate and the White House are pushing for policies like expanding and restoring the Affordable Care Act (ACA), forgiving student loans, offering more COVID relief, etc.” Katy Gates explains. “These policies only have a chance of being passed because we elected Senators Ossoff and Warnock.”

 

With the recent events that happened prior to the election, Gates believes these times have encouraged voters to go out and make a change.

“Jon’s focus on election reforms, structural change, and fighting government corruption resonated with a lot of Georgians because of the turmoil that’s been happening over the past couple of years,” claimed Gates. Some examples she includes are “partisan gridlock, government shutdowns, and citizens United.”

Other issues such as the environment, healthcare, and criminal justice reform can’t be addressed without free and fair elections and a government that works for the people, and Gates believes voters recognized these issues and were motivated to help the cause, especially during the 2020 elections.

Even with the promising policies Ossoff and Warnock have voiced, the idea of having a Black man and Jewish man as the representation for Georgia is an even bigger deal.

“It’s basically unheard of in the 21st century,” Katy Gates emphasizes. “It definitely signifies a huge shift in the minds of Georgia voters, and hopefully, we’ll see some results that help working Georgians soon.”

Now in March, Warnock and Ossoff have made measures to fulfill the wants and needs of Georgians. From working to secure millions in funding for Southwest Georgia, to passing the American Rescue Plan and getting $2 billion to expand Medicaid, Ossoff and Warnock are taking their work by storm.