US

Democrats win Georgia run-off election to gain control of Senate


WASHINGTON: Democrat Raphael Warnock on Tuesday was projected to win a run-off reelection to represent Georgia in the US Senate against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, giving the party a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber.
In a close contest that attracted national and even global attention, Warnock, a pastor in an Atlanta church, was leading Walker, a former footballer, by about 100,000 votes (51.4 per cent to 48.6 per cent) with most of the 3 million ballots counted.
As expected, Walker, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, won the rural, white-dominated counties in the state, polling about 1.7 million votes. But it was not enough to beat Warnock, whose approximately 1.8 million votes came mostly from black-dominated urban areas in Atlanta, Athens, and Augusta.
The run-off election was triggered by a Georgia law that requires the winner get 50 per cent plus vote, a ploy originally designed by the state’s racist politicians to ensure white primacy. Although both contenders for the seat were black, the Republican Party was derided for picking Walker, a laughably inept candidate barely able to stitch together a coherent sentence, in an effort to prise the seat from Democrats in what has become a battleground state with growing black population.
As he bumbled through the campaign, comedians joked that Walker’s candidature was “a political science experiment” by Republicans in an attempt to see “just how crazy a candidate can be” and still get votes. Walker was Trump’s handpicked candidate and political analysts saw this as a setback to the former President and his MAGA constituency.
Warnock’s win breaks the 50-50 tie in the Senate that required vice-president Kamala Harris to babysit the chamber when required to use a casting vote. It also gives Democrats a cushion to offset the capers of two conservative Democratic Senators, notably Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who held the party’s national agenda hostage to serve their constituency.
Among other things, the US Senate also oversees the confirmation process of judges. ambassadors, and many senior administrative personnel. The deadlock in the Senate had held up many such confirmation hearings and votes, including that of the nominated US ambassador to India, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. New Delhi has been without a US ambassador for almost two years now.





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