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ATLANTA — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris campaigned in Georgia on Monday for Senate Democratic hopefuls Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, emphasizing the “need” for them in Washington.
Harris, at an outdoor drive-in rally in Columbus, a city of around 200,000 in the western part of the state, said, “2020 has been rough. As far as I’m concerned ... 2020 ain’t over until Jan. 5. … You have it within your hands to make a statement about who Georgia is, and the power of the voice of Georgia.”
This was Harris’s first visit to the Peach State since the Democratic presidential ticket narrowly won there in November’s general election by roughly 12,000 votes. The visit also comes after President-elect Joe Biden campaigned in Atlanta last Tuesday, urging Georgians to vote for Ossoff and Warnock so he can “get something done” as president.
If Ossoff and Warnock win, it would give Democrats control of the legislative and executive branches, enabling the Biden administration to pass progressive legislation. But if either loses, Republicans would maintain control of the Senate and the ability to block Democratic initiatives and Biden appointments.
Harris said outsiders were attempting to restrict voting in the state.
“Why are so many powerful people trying to make it so difficult for us to vote?” she said. “What we did in November, we can do again.”
Harris was scheduled to make a stop in Lawrenceville, Ga., but that leg of the trip was canceled because she needed to return to Washington to vote in the Senate for a $900 billion coronavirus relief package.
As of Monday afternoon, according to state election data, more than 1.4 million Georgians had cast their ballots during early voting, which began on Dec. 14. The unusually high number is just about on track with last month’s historic presidential race turnout, in which 5 million Georgians voted.
Runoff elections usually bring fewer voters to the polls, but early numbers show that Georgians understand the significance of this race.
“The decisions you make, the work you put into it, will impact people who you may never meet,” Harris added. “People who may never know your names. … It is within our power to change the course of history of this country.”
Ossoff, who also spoke at the rally, denounced Georgia’s Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and what he called their history of “corruption.” The two are among the wealthiest members of the Senate. Questions have been raised about their stock trades last winter, after members of Congress had been confidentially briefed about the potential economic disruption resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Neither has been charged or censured.
“We have bigger and better things to discuss than David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — like where do we go from here?” Ossoff asked. “Georgia has the power to decide. ... We have the power to write the next chapter in American history. What comes next is up to us. … And we’re running against the Bonnie and Clyde of political corruption.”
On Monday, the first day of winter, and in the midst of a worsening pandemic, Warnock, a Baptist minister, sought to reassure his listeners.
“I know it’s dark,” he said, “but morning is on its way.”
Below are key dates for Georgians to remember ahead of the state’s Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5, 2021:
Cover thumbnail photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
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