Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is heading to Georgia for the first time since the presidential election to campaign for two Democrats who hope to unseat Republican Senate incumbents in the upcoming runoff elections.
Biden will travel to Atlanta on Dec. 15, his team announced early Thursday.
Biden will “campaign on behalf of Jon Ossoff, Rev. Raphael Warnock, and the Democratic ticket” in the runoffs, the brief announcement read. The team said it will release additional details later.
President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement: “Joe Biden’s trip to Georgia next week proves that Democrats are taking the Senate runoff elections seriously and so should Republicans.”
The runoffs are taking place on Jan. 5, 2021. Voting has already begun. Over 1 million people requested absentee, or mail-in, ballots.
Ossoff, 33, a filmmaker who lost a 2018 bid for political office, is trying to unseat Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), 71, a first-term businessman.
Perdue received over 88,000 more votes than Ossoff but just missed the cutoff to avoid the runoff.
Warnock, 51, emerged from a free-for-all special election along with Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), 50, a businesswoman. Loeffler is holding the seat after being appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp following the retirement of Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
Because Isakson was reelected in 2016, the winner will have to face another battle in 2022.
The races have attracted heightened attention because they could determine which party controls the Senate.
Democrats would have to win the White House and both seats to flip the upper congressional chamber. If they do, they’d control the Senate by virtue of the vice president’s ability to cast tiebreaking votes, because the alignment would be 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats.
Trump traveled to Georgia on Dec. 5 to rally with Loeffler and Perdue, urging people to vote for them.
“At stake in this election is control of the U.S. Senate, and that really means control of this country,” Trump told a crowd of thousands in Valdosta.
Vice President Mike Pence has made multiple trips to the state to campaign for the incumbents, and other Republican heavyweights have joined them for rallies, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, held a virtual rally with Ossoff and Warnock last week.