With GOP win in Alaska, control of the Senate pushes to January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Control of the Senate won’t be decided until the new year after Republicans won a seat in Alaska on Wednesday. Neither party can lock the majority until January runoffs in Georgia.

Incumbent Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat.

With Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Republicans are still short of the 51 seats they need for majority control. They have a 49-48 hold on the Senate with the Alaska win, but two races in Georgia are heading to a Jan. 5 runoff.

The race in North Carolina remains too early to call. There, Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has conceded to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis.

With Biden, the path to keeping Senate control is more difficult for Republicans. The vice president of the party in power, which on Jan. 20 will be Kamala Harris, is the tie-breaker. That means if Republicans only have 50 seats, Democrats control the Senate. Republicans would need 51 senators to overcome that.

12 PHOTOSWho is Jon Ossoff?See GalleryWho is Jon Ossoff?Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff runs for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in a special election against the Republican candidate Karen Handel to replace Tom Price, who is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The election will fill a congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Atlanta, Georgia, USA twilight rush hour.

Ossoff interned for Rep. John Lewis when he was a student at Paideia School — a private K-12 Atlanta school.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

In 2013, Ossoff began working for former BBC reporter Ron McCullagh. At this time, Ossoff used an inheritance to buy the ownership stake in an investigative journalism business McCullagh owned — renaming it Insight TWI.


Ossoff started dating his now-fiancee Alisha Kramer when they were in high school. 

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Both Ossoff and Kramer attended Georgetown University. Ossoff majored in international affairs, and Kramer majored in biology. 

Ossoff attended the London School of Economics for his master’s degree after graduating from Georgetown. 

Ossoff worked as a staffer for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) for five years after graduate school. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ossoff has never held public office. 

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ossoff decided to join the Congressional race after Tom Price vacated his seat to join the Trump administration as the new Health and Human Services Secretary. 

(REUTERS/Kevin D. Liles)

Ossoff faces Republican candidate Karen Handel.(REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry)

Ossoff has raised over $23 million from supporters around the country.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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The Georgia runoff elections, set for Jan. 5, are swiftly becoming a showdown over control of the chamber. The state is closely divided, with Democrats making gains on Republicans, fueled by a surge of new voters. But no Democrat has been elected senator in some 20 years.

GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Rafael Warnock, a Black pastor from the church where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached. And Republican Sen. David Perdue, a top Trump ally, will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.

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