ATLANTA — Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff. Fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock also won the Senate special election, flipping the U.S. Senate blue.
The Associated Press declared Ossoff the winner on Jan. 6, leading by nearly 18,500 votes, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
This is the first time since 2003 that both of Georgia’s U.S. Senators are Democrats, and it removes a major roadblock for President-elect Joe Biden. The Senate wll now be split 50-50, but Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tie-breaking votes.
The Democratic party needed a history-making voter turnout by communities of color to swing this victory.
Close to 240,000 Asian Americans are eligible to vote, around 4% of Georgia’s electorate, and they have increased their voter registration every year for the last three presidential cycles, a Pew Research Center analysis shows.
For the Asian American population, the top concerns are health care, national security and the economy, according to AAPI Data. The U.S. government’s foreign policy on Asia also climbed the ranks in 2020.
As for Biden, Asian Americans want to be reflected in the diversity of the administration, including at the highest levels of office.
“I think [Asian Americans] need to have a feeling that they’re represented,” said Bonnie Youn, a legal recruiting manager at RMN Agency in Georgia. “When you see Asian Americans starting to run for elected office, particularly in Georgia, [who] are more running now than ever before, there is a feeling of belonging, a feeling of understanding”