The contentious battle between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff ended with a plan for a runoff election.
The incumbent Republican senator held a slim lead over Ossoff — who previously lost his race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2017 in a runoff election against Republican Karen Handel. Perdue led by just over 90,000 votes with 99% of the vote counted, falling short of the required 50% of the vote total by just two-tenths of a point. (RELATED: Georgia Secretary Of State Announces ‘There Will Be A Recount’)
Perdue, who has held the seat since 2015, was lagging in a Monmouth University poll as recently as one week prior to Election Day. He appeared to bounce back, taking a tw0-point lead in a WSB-TV/Landmark Communications poll released Monday.
The two candidates have traded barbs on several occasions, ultimately leading to the cancellation of their final debate. Perdue opted instead to attend a campaign event alongside President Donald Trump.
A spokesman for Perdue released a statement on his decision to skip the final debate, saying, “As lovely as another debate listening to Jon Ossoff lie to the people of Georgia sounds, Senator Perdue will not be participating in the WSB-TV debate but will instead join the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, for a huge Get-Out-The-Vote rally in Northwest Georgia.”
Perdue claimed that Ossoff had profited off China and was being funded by out-of-state donors who were pushing a socialist agenda. In turn, Ossoff accused Perdue of corruption and blamed him for “widespread disease and economic devastation.”
Because of former Sen. Johnny Isakson’s retirement for health reasons in 2019, a special election in addition to Perdue’s race makes Georgia the only state in the nation to have both U.S. Senate seats in play — and both will go to a runoff that will be scheduled at a later date.