Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler in runoff for Georgia Senate seat

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, and Democrat Raphael Warnock have advanced to a Jan. 5 runoff in the special election for Loeffler's Senate seat.

They're the top two finishers in a crowded field that also included Republican Rep. Doug Collins. But no candidate was able to get the 50% threshold needed to win outright.

Loeffler drew criticism from WNBA players earlier this year for objecting to the league's promotion of Black Lives Matter, instead advocating for teams to add American flags to jerseys.

Loeffler penned a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert in July arguing that the league was being too political by painting Black Lives Matter on the courts at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where the league held its season.

Players called on the league to force her out as co-owner of the Dream. Engelbert said at the time that the league would not force Loeffler to sell but said she is aware of several parties with interest in buying the team.

Loeffler 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. Warnock is trying to become Georgia's first Black U.S. senator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.