(November 8, 2020 / JNS) 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 Insider, warned 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.”
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.’ ”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.