ATLANTA - Jon Ossoff, who appeared to be headed towards a runoff most of the day Wednesday, now seems to have clinched an outright win in Georgia’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. That is according to the Associated Press.
The race had been too early to call for most of the day on Wednesday, with Ossoff leading Sarah Riggs Amico and Teresa Tomlinson, but appeared to have fallen just short of the 50 percent plus one needed for an outright victory in the race to challenge incumbent Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue.
As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday he had edged just above the 50 percent threshold of the counted vote, trailed by Tomlinson and Amico. Tomlinson and Amico were separated by less than 2 percentage points in the race for the second spot in a potential runoff. Because his victory falls within one percent, it likely will trigger a recount.
The media executive, who lost an expensive House special election to Karen Handel in 2017, used name recognition and money to lead the contest. He recently wrote his campaign a check for $450,000 and showcased some heavyweight support from major Georgia figures including Rep. John Lewis.
His opponent this November, incumbent Sen. David Perdue was quick to release a statement about Ossoff, possibly setting the tone for the campaign to come.
Ossoff has moved to the left since the 2017 race, focusing the campaign on fighting corruption, which he says distinguishes him from the other Democratic candidates.
He and his wife voted early on Friday but told FOX 5’s Claire Simms it is wrong that so many Georgians have to wait so long to vote.
Amico, who was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018, has highlighted her business experience and is supported by unions. She said her campaign was built on all the right things, for all the right reasons.
"We set out last August with a campaign that was about being a champion for working families. We set out with a campaign that wanted to create a space for economic justice, voting rights, and affordable access to healthcare for every American, and if you think about it, when we launched last August we could have never known just how resonant those themes would be, but certainly today more than ever,” Amico told FOX 5’s Deidra Dukes.
Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, argues that she is a more experienced politician who can attract voters statewide
Supporters were out Tuesday waving signs and drumming up last-minute support.
Tomlinson told FOX 5’s Denise Dillon that voting is the best way to be heard by the government.
Other Democrats in the race included former ACLU of Georgia head Maya Dillard Smith, Air Force veteran James Knox, and Marckeith DeJesus.
Perdue, a close Trump ally, is seeking a second term in November as Republicans look to hold the White House and a Senate majority. He drew no GOP primary opposition.
If no candidate wins a majority of 50% of the primary vote, the top two contenders will return in an Aug. 11 runoff.
Democrats hope to be competitive in both the Perdue race, as well as a November special election to fill the last two years of the term of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a race in which Kelly Loeffler currently holds the seat by appointment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report