Rev. Raphael Warnock claimed victory as Georgia's newest senator early Wednesday morning (January 6), beating Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in the nationally-watched senate runoff elections. After months of a highly-contended race, the pastor clinched a seat in the US Senate, becoming the first Black senator to represent the Peach State in the nation's history.
Following his historic win, Warnock told TODAY that “it’s the honor of my life.” He added, “It took good public policy along with personal responsibility to get me here … I can’t wait to get to work.”
Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff's lead over Republican incumbent David Perdue in the state's general election runoff grew early Wednesday morning, however, that race is still too close to call.
Born in Savannah, Georgia in 1969, Reverend Warnock proudly claims his roots in the Kayton Homes public housing. He attended Atlanta’s Morehouse College and has served as senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church since 2005. Ebenezer, an Atlanta landmark of the American Civil Rights Movement was also led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Warnock is not a traditional politician. His progressive views on gay marriage, abortion, and criticism of police complicate his context as a religious figure in the South, and now, a new phenomenon in the US Senate.
The race for the Georgia Senate seat was not easy. With over 20 candidates vying for the same seat, Warnock’s victory did not come immediately. A runoff election was scheduled after a clear winner was not determined in November's General Election.
According to his campaign website, Warnock plans on tackling issues ranging from agriculture, climate, criminal justice reform to education, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. Warnock’s campaign highlighted his own personal experiences that influenced his policy agenda, including a time as a teen where he was accused of stealing from a store and questioned by police.
Warnock’s followers are eager to see the pastor’s leadership reflected on Capitol Hill, especially as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get set to take office in the coming days.
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