A Jan. 5 runoff in Georgia between incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, a Jewish Democrat, appears likely as neither candidate reached the 50 percent voter threshold required to avoid a runoff.

With 99 percent of votes reported, Perdue has 49.8 percent of the vote, while Ossoff got 47.9 percent.

In accordance with Georgia electoral law, if no candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held in January.

At a mid-October rally for U.S. President Donald Trump, Perdue seemed to poke fun of Democratic vice-presidential running mate and his colleague in the U.S. Senate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, calling her “KAH-mah-la, Kah-MAH-la, Kamala-mala-mala. I don’t know, whatever.” Ossoff criticized the comment.

Perdue also came under fire in July for a digital advertisement featuring a picture of Ossoff with an enlarged nose “even as other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions,” according to The Forward, which first reported the ad.

The black-and-white ad solicited donations for Perdue’s campaign and also included a picture of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is also Jewish, and a caption, “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia.”

The apparently Photoshopped ad appeared to invoke the anti-Semitic tropes of Jews having long noses and that they control politics.

A Perdue campaign spokesperson told The Forward that the campaign ad was inadvertent and was removed, though Ossoff tweeted that the explanation didn’t pass muster.

Perdue, who co-sponsored an anti-BDS law in 2017, has supported Trump’s pro-Israel agenda, while Ossoff has supported the Iran nuclear deal and, in a statement to Jewish Insiderwarned that Israel applying sovereignty to the West Bank would undermine “efforts to achieve a two-state solution. A sustainable and humane resolution of conflict can only be achieved by diplomacy.”

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

Along with the runoff between Perdue and Ossoff comes another runoff, also on Jan. 5, between incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat in the special election to serve the remaining two years of the term of Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

Warnock received 32.9 percent of the vote while Loeffler got 25.9 percent, knocking off Republicans, including Rep. Doug Collins, and eight Democrats, including Matt Lieberman, a son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

On Friday, Lieberman, who finished in fifth place with 2.8 percent of the vote, told JNS that he will back Warnock because “on a large majority of issues, he represents Georgia priorities far more faithfully than Kelly Loeffler, who describes herself, albeit tongue in cheek, as ‘[more conservative than] Attila the Hun.’ ”

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