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Kelly Loeffler, Raphael Warnock headed for Senate runoff election

Incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock on Jan. 5.

ATLANTA — Following Tuesday’s election results, Georgia's special election Senate race is going to a runoff. 

Incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock on Jan. 5.

Races go to a runoff when neither of the candidates gets a margin of 50% +1 vote. When that happens, the two candidates with the most votes qualify for the runoff.  

MORE: Full election results

As of around 11:30 p.m. election night, when the Associated Press called the race, Warnock was leading the tally with 30% of the vote - or 1,019,387 votes - to Loeffler's 28% - or 956,318 votes. 

The crowded field also included Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who had hoped to face Loeffler, but he never led the race and ended the night with 22% of the vote - or 763,637 votes. He conceded the race in a tweet, writing, "(Loeffler) has my support and endorsement. I look forward to all Republicans coming together."

Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman, was appointed last year to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock is pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. He is trying to become Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator.

The deadline to register to vote for the runoff is Dec. 7.  Early voting for the runoff will begin on Dec. 14, 2020.

Voters can request and absentee ballot starting Nov. 18.