Republican incumbent David Perdue had 49.8% of the vote while Ossoff was a close second with a 47.9% vote share.
According to Georgia state law, if no candidate gets a simple majority of the votes in the ongoing election, the top two candidates move forward to a Jan. 5 runoff. And that is the scenario in both of the state’s Senate seats.
In the other race, Democrat Raphael Warnock was ahead of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler but in a spread out field, neither candidate was anywhere close to 50% of the votes. Warnock secured 32.9% of the vote, while Loeffler had 26%.
The 33-year-old Ossoff ran on a pro-healthcare, anti-corruption platform. “I’m running to ensure every Georgian has great health care, to deliver historic investments in clean energy and infrastructure, to rebuild this economy so working families and small businesses thrive, and to root out corruption so government serves the people — not private interests with legions of lobbyists,” was his stated objective in the run up to the election.
During his documentary producing career, Ossoff was a specialist in African subjects and ISIS. His credits include ISIS-themed episodes of “Stacey Dooley Investigates” and “Stacey on the Frontline,” as well as “Africa Investigates.”
The Georgetown University international relations major’s interest in politics grew during an internship with civil rights leader and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Ossoff worked on Capitol Hill after graduation, only to become “disillusioned and disappointed” by the glacial pace of change.
The Atlanta native moved back to Georgia and joined rejoined politics when Donald Trump was voted into power in 2016.
“It pulled me back into [the political] arena, because it seemed to me that if there was ever a time to be involved head-on, this was it,” Ossoff told Variety in March.
Perdue has served as a member of Senate for Georgia since 2015. He is a former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General stores.