Saunders calls Georgia runoff victories a ‘bold mandate for change’

AFSCME President Lee Saunders called the victories of the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections “a bold mandate for change.”

In celebrating the pair of wins, which will give pro-worker lawmakers the majority in the Senate, Saunders said in a statement, “We now have the strong leadership required to defeat this pandemic, to get the economy moving again and deliver desperately needed aid to states, cities, towns and schools.”

Warnock, a pastor who is the first Black Democrat from a Southern state to be elected to the Senate in U.S. history, defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Ossoff, who will be the youngest Democrat to be elected to the Senate since President-elect Joe Biden, defeated incumbent Sen. David Perdue.

“Georgia voters have spoken with loud and clear voices, choosing two new U.S. senators who will support working families and their communities over the wealthy and well-connected,” said Saunders.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus have allowed states, cities, towns and schools to suffer under cratering budget shortfalls rather than deliver vital aid to our front-line heroes.

With these Georgia victories, Saunders said, “We have an administration and a Congress committed to supporting front-line workers and empowering all working people with a seat at the table. We have the opportunity to move a robust, forward-looking agenda – strengthening health care, shoring up retirement security, protecting democracy, advancing racial justice and much more.”

Saunders also recognized the role that AFSCME members played in electing Warnock and Ossoff. Wielding their political might, they turned out the voters who made the difference in these pivotal races. At the same time, AFSCME’s front-line heroes continued to stand courageously on the front lines of the worst public health crisis in a century, putting the safety of our communities first.

“We look forward to working with Sens.-elect Ossoff and Warnock to meet the huge challenges confronting working people and the nation,” Saunders said.