Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler conceded to Democrat Raphael Warnock late Thursday, after months of high-stakes campaigning for the Georgia Senate seat.
Loeffler said she called Warnock earlier in the day to congratulate him on his historic win.
Warnock, who beat Loeffler by over 73,000 votes, became the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate.
“Unfortunately we came up slightly short in the runoff election and earlier today I called Rev. Warnock to congratulate him, to wish him well in serving this great state,” Loeffler said in a video posted to Twitter.
“While my heart breaks at not being able to continue to serve Georgia and America, I’m tremendously proud of all that we’ve achieved together,” she said.
Loeffler held the seat for a year after she was appointed to replace outgoing Sen. Johnny Isakson; she called serving the “honor of a lifetime.”
She has been a strong supporter of President Trump and her base slammed Warnock on the campaign trail, attempting to paint him as a “radical liberal.”
“The fight to protect conservative values is far from over. And the fight against socialism and the radical agenda of the left is very far from over. I fully intend to stay in this fight for freedom, for our values, and for the future of this great country,” she said.
Loeffler was one of several Republican lawmakers who pledged to vote against certifying the presidential election for Biden on Wednesday but backpedaled after mayhem ensued at the Capitol, as hundreds of Trump-supporting protesters mobbed the building, forcing lawmakers into hiding and disrupting the joint session of Congress for over six hours.
The second of twin Senate races in Georgia was also called, with Democrat Jon Ossoff beating former Republican Sen. David Perdue by more than 35,000 votes. He made history as the first Jewish senator from Georgia to be elected to Congress.
Perdue has yet to concede. In a statement released early Wednesday, his campaign vowed to “mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse.”
Despite a constant barrage of criticism from the president and unsubstantiated insults and claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election, particularly in Georgia, Tuesday’s election broke turnout records, with more than 4.4 million ballots cast.
The results of the highly anticipated races handed power to Democrats in the Senate, now with a 50-50 split of lawmakers with a Democratic vice president, Kamala Harris, who will be the deciding vote in a tie.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Loeffler concedes to Warnock in Georgia Senate runoff: Serving was ‘honor of my lifetime’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Fox News.