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@mattbannister via Twenty20

After a contentious runoff race Democrats will be taking control of the Senate. Rev. Raphael Warnock was the first projected winner of Georgia’s two special elections Tuesday night, which turned to runoffs in November after no candidate secured 50% of the votes. The race was officially called by major news outlets early Wednesday morning.

Warnock is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King preached. The win makes Warnock Georgia’s first ever Black senator. The senator-elect appeared on CNN’s New Day Wednesday morning to comment on his victory.

“I am an iteration and an example of the American dream,” Warnock said. “When I think about the arc of our history, what Georgia did last night is its own message in the midst of a moment in which so many people are trying to divide our country, at a time we can least afford to be divided.”

The race between Jon Ossoff and incumbent Sen. David Perdue was too close to call Tuesday, but Democrats predicted victory Wednesday morning since many of the ballots still waiting to be counted were coming from Democrat strongholds. The race was officially called Wednesday afternoon by major news outlets. Earlier in the morning, Ossoff declared victory.

“I want to thank the people of Georgia for participating in this election, everybody who cast your ballot, everybody who put your faith and confidence in our democracy’s capacity to deliver the representation that we deserve, whether you were for me, or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate,” Osoff said. “I will serve all the people of the state.”

Georgia election officials said Wednesday they believe Ossoff will have a victory with margins outside of the recount threshold. Ossoff’s victory makes him the first ever Jewish senator from Georgia. Ossoff is also the son of an immigrant.

Political analysts say the win has now turned Georgia into a purple state and will now be in play for both parties for years to come.

More coverage from Prism to follow…

Carolyn Copeland

Carolyn Copeland is a staff reporter and copy editor at Prism. She covers racial justice and culture. Follow her on Twitter @Carolyn_Copes.