Loeffler concedes U.S. Senate race to Warnock, thanks supporters

Sen. Kelly Loeffler conceded the U.S. Senate race in Georgia to Rev. Raphael Warnock Thursday in a message posted to social media.

"Unfortunately, we came up slightly short in the runoff election and earlier today I called Rev. Warnock to congratulate him, to wish him well in serving this great state," the Republican senator said. "While my heart breaks for not being able to continue to serve Georgia and America I am tremendously proud of all we have achieved together."

Loeffler, who was appointed just over a year ago by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the seat of the retired Sen. Johnny Isakson, thanked her supporters and said she was able to accomplish so much in just a short time. 

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"I want to thank every Georgian and every single American who believed in our campaign," Loeffler told her supporters.

Loeffler, raised on an Illinois farm and was one of the wealthiest U.S. senator, is among the successful transplants to metro Atlanta, proof she's "lived the American dream."
Loeffler's campaign purchased about $51.78 million in television and radio ads, but was outspent by Rev. Warnock's campaign by more than $20 million, according to political advertising tracking firm Medium Buying. Those numbers do not include PAC ads.

"From delivering relief to hard-working Georgia during this pandemic to funding our rural hospitals and healthcare. Advocating for our farmers, our veterans, school choice and families. For standing up for conservative American values," Loeffler said.

Gov. Kemp added his praise for her service in her role releasing a statement on social media that reads:

"In truly unprecedented times, Senator Loeffler delivered critical coronavirus relief to our state and championed our conservative values. Kelly has lived the American Dream and fought hard every day in Washington to ensure that dream remains possible for every Georgian."

In her video, Loeffler also thanked her Senate and campaign staff who she said was close to her as family. She specifically singled out Harrison Deal, her Athens regional field director, who was killed in a car crash on Dec. 4. Deal was considered a rising star in the Republican Party and was also extremely close with Gov. Brian Kemp and his family.

"Rest assured, the fight to advance the American dream is far from over. The fight to protect conservative values is far from over. And the fight against socialism and the radical agenda of the left is very far from over," Loeffler said pledging to continue to stay in the fight.

The senator faced a bitter first-round fight with a conservative congressman, Doug Collins, a Tea Party wing favorite. When the dust settled on the 20-candidate melee in November, Warnock was on top with more than 32 percent of the vote, seven points ahead of Loeffler and 12 points ahead of Collins, forcing a runoff.

While was already serving by way of an appointment, had she won Tuesday's race, Loeffler would have become the first woman elected as a Georgia senator.

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