NewsLocal News


Georgia flip energizing South Georgia Democratic Parties

South Georgia democrats energizes
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:48:12-05

THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Democratic grassroots organizations in Georgia are celebrating their three big wins for the president and both U.S. Senate seats.

Those wins give Democrats control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in a decade. The last time the state elected a Democrat as president was 1992.

Georgia hasn't elected democratic U.S. senators in more than 2 decades.

Raphael Warnock is the first African-American to serve as a US Senator from Georgia. Jon Ossoff is the first Jewish-American. He'll also be the youngest sitting senator at just 33 years old.

"It tells me that our country and our government is beginning to represent the diversity of America as a whole. There's people of all races, colors, and creeds in America. We need to have people representing us at every level of government, " said Thomas County Democratic Party Chair Brenda Griffin.

Thomas County Election Supervisor Frank Scoggins says this is the biggest runoff election the county has seen.

"So many people came in here and wanted to vote, " said Thomas County Supervisor of Elections Frank Scoggins, "we had a real traffic problem all day long."

While the county didn't turn blue, the democratic party feels its on its way to doing that.

"Georgia needed change. Georgia demanded change. Now a change is on the way to Georgia," said Griffin.

Griffin says with help from other cities like Tallahassee, the party registered 110 new voters in time for the run-off, working hard to build up a presence in Southwest Georgia.

"We are finding democrats coming out of the woodwork. We'll see one and they'll say we didn't realize there are so many democrats in the local area," said Griffin.

Griffin says while the Thomas County Democratic Party grew, they were also able to strengthen parties in smaller, neighboring counties, like Colquitt and Grady.

"The connections we made with these other smaller counties are going to strengthen their local democratic parties and help us in future elections," she said.

Republicans also helped this time around. Griffin says there were some who joined forces to help bring success to the democrats.

"We were very pleased and happy to have them come on board. we realize a lot of people are unhappy with the president and they realize things need to change," she said.

About 19,000 people voted in Thomas County, 63 percent of the county's registered voters cast a ballot. That's only 15 percent less than the general election in November.

"This had a lot of hype, news coverage, all over the United States, everybody knew that Georgia was having a very critical runoff," said Scoggins.

Both democrats took about 40 percent of the vote in Thomas County. That's a two percent gain for Ossoff and a 22% percent gain for Warnock. Many voters decided election day was the best bet.

"Something that I really underestimated, we didn't do that much in the presidential at the polling places on elections day, but we did this time. It kind of almost caught up with us," said Scoggins.

Scoggins also reaffirmed confidence in the security of the election.

"Know that we go through 3 different people before we decide we're not satisfied with a signature. We do best practice here," he said.

The elections office is now working to fix provisional ballots with unmatched signatures. The democrat party is also focused on getting those signatures in their party fixed before the deadline Friday afternoon at 4:30. Vote certification will take about a week.