“Although we won the general election, we came up just short of Georgia’s 50% rule, and now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win,” Perdue wrote. “Bonnie and I will continue to pray for our wonderful state and our great country. May God continue to bless Georgia and the United States of America.”
Perdue did not name Ossoff in the statement after a contentious campaign. Georgia requires a candidate to get 50% plus one vote to win the general election and Perdue did not reach that level, forcing the runoff between him and Ossoff.
A source with Ossoff’s campaign told CNN that Perdue did not call Ossoff to concede. Fox News was first to report the lack of a call.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp congratulated Ossoff in a series of tweets Friday afternoon and thanked Perdue for his efforts in the Senate.
CNN projected Wednesday that Georgians had elected Ossoff to the US Senate, giving the Democratic Party control of Congress and the White House for the first time since Barack Obama was president, a stark repudiation of President Donald Trump as he tried to overturn his own loss.
Ossoff’s victory and that of fellow Georgia Democrat the Rev. Raphael Warnock flip the Senate, giving President-elect Joe Biden the power to potentially enact sweeping, liberal legislation and push through Cabinet nominations without Republican support. The Senate’s party split will be 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking tie votes.
Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Ossoff will respectively be the first Black and Jewish senators to represent Georgia.
“A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20,” Trump said in a video that was taped at the White House. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
A White House adviser in discussions with senior officials said Trump recorded the video only because his presidency is threatened by looming resignations and potential impeachment.
Trump’s refusal to concede his loss sparked a fight within the Republican Party and disenchanted some of his supporters, who believed his false claims that the vote was rigged.
Trump’s ongoing onslaught against the Republican officials in charge of the elections pressured the two GOP senators from Georgia, Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, to make a choice: Join the President in seeking to overturn the democratic outcome or risk losing Trump supporters.
Despite three recounts and no evidence of widespread fraud, Loeffler and Perdue decided to join the President in supporting an objection to Congress’ certification of the Electoral College’s results on Wednesday in a final, deluded display of devotion to Trump supporters.
This story has been updated with tweets from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Alex Rogers, Kristin Wilson, Kevin Liptak, Veronica Stracqualursi, Allie Malloy, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera, Mallika Kallingal, Jeremy Herb, Clare Foran, Keith Allen and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.