Md. Dem Activists Mobilizing for 2 Ga. Senate Runoffs

    As the gaze of the political world turns to Georgia, where two runoff elections in early January will determine control of the U.S. Senate, Maryland Democrats are mobilizing to help the Democratic challengers, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer.

    Susan W. Turnbull, the former Maryland Democratic chairwoman and 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is facilitating Maryland fundraisers for Warnock on Thursday and Ossoff next Tuesday. The virtual fundraisers are being sponsored by former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ― whose presidential campaign Turnbull strongly supported.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has sent out fundraising solicitations for the two Georgia Democrats.

    “Our work is not over,” he wrote on Saturday, just two hours after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner in the presidential election. “On Day One in the White House, Joe Biden will be able to start reversing the damage done at home and abroad. But our ability to enact a bold, desperately needed legislative agenda to address the pandemic, build an economy that works for everyone, enact vital measures to advance social and racial justice, confront climate change, and so much more, must go through the U.S. Senate. Our job will be made much easier if Mitch McConnell is not able to continue to block key initiatives!”

    Warnock is running in a special election against appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), while Ossoff is challenging first-term Sen. David Perdue (R). Following last week’s elections, Republicans hold a 50-48 seat advantage in the Senate, but if Democrats can win both seats in Georgia, the Senate will be tied. Democrats would then take control because Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris would cast tie-breaking votes.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.