Jon Ossoff won the Democratic Senate primary in Georgia, NBC News projected Thursday.
Ossoff, who was running against two other well-funded candidates, avoided a runoff that he appeared to be headed toward when results first started trickling in Tuesday from across the state, where primary day was marred by numerous problems. Voters across the state, particularly in counties where the majority of residents are not white, faced issues including long lines, problems with voting machines and a lack of available ballots.
“Thank you Georgia!,” Ossoff tweeted after his nearest rival, Teresa Tomlinson, conceded Wednesday night. “Thank you for your relentless determination to vote. We won! Together we will heal our state and build a republic that lives up to our national ideals.”
While Democratic officials have warned that Tuesday’s voting problems are a red flag for Election Day in November, the Ossoff results could also foreshadow the delays in results that voters may experience as states lean more towards mail-in and absentee voting due to coronavirus concerns.
Tomlinson had declared earlier Wednesday that she’d successfully forced a run-off because Ossoff had less than 50% of the vote – but that calculation changed as more absentee ballots from the Atlanta area were counted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Ossoff is best known for losing a special congressional election to Republican Karen Handel in 2017 that was considered an early referendum on President Donald Trump, who had endorsed Handel. The closely fought contest, which drew national interest, was the most expensive House race ever as both sides spent over $50 million.
Ossoff will now face incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue, who he attacked online on Thursday.
“Senator David Perdue bragged under oath about how he ‘spent most of his career’ shipping American jobs overseas. Is it any surprise he says he opposed a single $1200 pandemic relief check for American workers?” Ossoff tweeted.
Perdue, meanwhile, lambasted Ossoff as “a part-time filmmaker and privileged liberal with no real world accomplishments” and “a favorite of liberal elites and Hollywood celebrities” who will “be a rubber stamp for Pelosi and Schumer’s liberal agenda.”
Trump weighed in on Twitter as well, endorsing Perdue and calling Ossoff “a Radical Liberal.”