Morehouse College alumnus Reverend Raphael Warnock just made history by becoming the state of Georgia’s first Black senator! Considering that Georgia has long been a red state, this Democrat’s triumphant upset is remarkable.
“I can’t tell you how honored I am that the people of my home state where I was born and raised and educated at Morehouse College have decided to send me to the United States Senate to represent their concerns at this defining moment in American history,” Warnock told Savannah Guthrie after his win on the TODAY show.
“It’s a time when people are suffering so many ways. As a pastor, I’m used to walking alongside people at their high moments and their low moments. It is the honor of my life that I get to represent the people of this very great state in the United States Senate,” he continued.
With razor-thin margins, Warnock’s race against his opponent, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, was a nail-biter. According to the New York Times, he ultimately came out on top with 50.6% compared to Loeffler’s 49.4%. She won her seat in 2019, and has yet to concede despite the Senate runoff results.
Ironically, it was Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp who appointed Kelly Loeffler to her Senate seat. Kemp has been accused of employing voter suppression tactics to win his seat against Stacey Abrams, who has since been credited in leading Georgia to become a blue state. Notably, Georgia’s democratic votes in the 2020 presidential election was a major contributing factor in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ ultimate win.
Fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff is also expected to win his Senate seat in his own Georgia runoff race. Together. Warnock and Osslof will create a sweep that will allow Democrats to take hold of the US Senate and implement policies that will uplift the lives of everyday Americans. According to his website, Warnock plans to focus on top issues such as affordable health care, jobs and the economy, and criminal justice reform.
Warnock has a sort of rags to riches story. Just like fellow Morehouse graduate Martin Luther King, Jr., Warnock grew up to become a pastor at the landmark Ebenezer Baptist Church. Yet as one of twelve children, he grew up in public housing. He was the first of his siblings to go to college. His father was a veteran, businessman, and pastor. His mother would pick cotton for work. It is something that he reflected heavily on after his win.
“The 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” Warnock said in a live-streamed address, which he posted to his Twitter page. “The improbable journey that led me to this place in this historic moment in America could only happen here.”