US president Joe Biden’s Democratic Party has secured a majority in the United States Senate after winning a run-off election in Georgia.
Serving senator Raphael Warnock was projected by US media to retain his seat for a further six years. It means Democrats will now hold 51 seats in the 100-member chamber.
Republican candidate Herschel Walker, a former Georgia football star who was strongly backed by former president Donald Trump, conceded last night.
The run-off election in Georgia was extremely close with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions. Ultimately with 99 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Warnock was leading by 50.8 per cent to 49.2 per cent.
Senate win in Georgia makes it easier for Biden to govern and raises questions over Trump’s future role
Mr Biden said on Tuesday night that he had called Mr Warnock to congratulate him on his victory.
“Tonight Georgia voters stood up for our democracy, rejected ultra Maga-ism [Mr Trump’s Make America Great Again movement] and most importantly sent a good man back to the Senate. Here’s to six more years.”
Mr Warnock said just because he had won the Senate seat did not mean that there were no attempts to suppress the vote.
“Let me be clear. Just because people endured long lines that wrapped around buildings, some blocks long, just because they endured the rain and the cold and all kinds of tricks in order to vote, does not mean that voter suppression does not exist. It simply means that you the people have decided that your voices will not be silenced.”
[ Senate win in Georgia makes it easier for Biden to govern and raises questions over Trump’s future role ]
Mr Warnock highlighted that Democrats had to go to court to overturn state election officials who maintained that Georgia law did not permit early voting on the Saturday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
“But we sued them and we won,” Mr Warnock said.
Mr Warnock said he was honoured to “utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy”.
“The people have spoken.”
Mr Walker said he was not going to make any excuses and urged his supporters to continue to believe in the United States.
However, he did not say whether he had spoken to Mr Warnock.
“Never stop dreaming. I don’t want any of you to stop dreaming,” Mr Walker told the crowd at his election party.
“I don’t want any of you to stop believing in America. I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the constitution and believe in our elected officials.”
The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said: “Democrats are in sync with the United States, and Maga Republicans are not.”
Mr Schumer, who will lead the majority in the Senate with 51 seats, said Mr Warnock would serve as “the last brick in our firewall” against Republican Party policies that threatened democracy.
The election results in Georgia on Tuesday marks the end of a very disappointing midterm election cycle for the opposition Republicans in the United States.
The party secured control of the House of Representatives by a small margin, but the predicted “red wave” did not materialise.
In the Senate Republicans, lost one of their seats, strengthening the control of the Democrats over the chamber.