The highly contentious Georgia Senate race will head to a runoff between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and former NFL player Herschel Walker, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said.

Neither candidate crossed the 50% threshold needed to secure the seat outright on Tuesday. The race has been one of the most competitive in the nation and control of the Senate could be determined by its results.

"While county officials are still doing the detailed work on counting the votes, we feel it is safe to say there will be a runoff for the US Senate here in Georgia slated for December 6," Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia secretary of state's chief operating officer, said on Twitter.

Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer of Georgia's Secretary of State, announces the plans for a December runoff on Twitter.

Runoff elections in Georgia are not uncommon, as the state has shifted blue following former President Trump's loss of the state in 2020. The 2020 election cycle also saw a Senate runoff in the peach state, when now incumbent Warnock was challenging then-incumbent, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Another Republican in the race, Doug Collins won 20% of the vote, sending Loeffler and Warnock to a January runoff that Warnock won.

Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver, a 37-year-old Atlanta businessman, helped to deny Warnock and Walker the majority they needed to win outright. According to NBC News, with 96% of the vote counted Wednesday, Warnock had won 49.2% of the vote to Walker's 48.7%. Oliver has won about 2.1% of the vote.

That this year's race is so tight shows the fracture that has happened among Georgia voters, as incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp comfortably defeated challenger Stacey Abrams late Tuesday. Split-ticket voters have allowed Warnock to outpace Abrams, while Walker fails to hitch onto Kemp's popularity.

Walker has been dogged by controversy throughout this entire race, battling past allegations of domestic abuse, multiple abortion scandals and gaffes that left many concerned about his ability to serve. Warnock in his own right fought his way through misuse of campaign finance allegations while serving in Congress.