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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, speaks Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at Park Place Restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe.

The day after the Electoral College formally voted to elect Democrat Joe Biden the next president of the United States, Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler came to Fort Oglethorpe and followed the lead of President Donald Trump in not acknowledging his election loss.

"He fought for us for the last four years, he has taken our country to new heights and new economic opportunities," Loeffler said when asked about the Electoral College vote. "What my focus is right now is on Jan. 5, because the future of our country is on the line here, and we are going to continue to fight to make sure Georgians understand their vote will determine the direction of the country."

Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue face Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the runoff election, which will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate when Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

The two Republicans have had to campaign even as Trump continues to sow doubts about the democratic process and the presidential election that took place over a month ago — especially in Georgia, where he has been critical of two Republicans, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Trump's most avid supporters have been particularly critical of Loeffler and Perdue, saying they are not doing enough to bring about his victory in Georgia — and therefore do not deserve the support of Trump loyalists.

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler campaigns in Fort Oglethorpe

Loeffler — appointed to her seat by Kemp after Sen. Johnny Isakson stepped down due to health concerns — said she was honored to have Trump's endorsement in the upcoming Senate race. She came to Northwest Georgia just a day after Sen. David Perdue visited Dalton as part of his flyover tour to encourage voters to vote early in the much-anticipated Senate runoff.

Loeffler faces Warnock, activist and senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s former church. Perdue faces Jon Ossoff, a former investigative journalist and filmmaker.

Republicans need one of the Georgia seats for a majority. Democrats must win both to yield a 50-50 Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris then holding the tie-breaking vote.

(READ MORE: Trump loyalists sow election doubts as Georgia GOP fights to keep Senate)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden as the president-elect for the first time Tuesday in a speech on the Senate floor. Biden later said he had a "good conversation" with McConnell before flying to Georgia for a campaign event for Warnock and Ossoff.

Loeffler was joined by local elected Republicans such as Sen. Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga and newly elected Mike Cameron of Rossville. They both advocated for Georgians to get out and vote to make sure the Republicans stay in control of the Senate.

Loeffler thanked Georgians for getting her and Perdue this far. She advocated for Trump's policies, said she would fight against the "socialist agenda" of the current Democratic Party and said she would continue to uphold conservative values as a senator if elected.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, U.S. Congresswoman-elect and ally of Loeffler, was scheduled to make an appearance Tuesday but did not. Greene announced on Twitter Monday that her father was recently diagnosed with cancer.

A few hours after Loeffler's event in Fort Oglethorpe wrapped up, Greene tweeted, "Every 'Republican' that isn't fighting for Donald Trump's 2020 landslide victory is supporting the Chinese Communist Party takeover of America."

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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