Raphael Warnock, a senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, has been reelected onto the US Senate on behalf of the state of Georgia in a close runoff Tuesday against Republican Herschel Walker, which resulted in the Democratic Party securing a slight Upper House majority. With 99% of the votes counted, Warnock led Walker by 50.8% to 49.2%, it was announced Wednesday.
Democrats have won three Senate races in the past two years in the former Republican stronghold, and President Joseph Biden won the state in 2020.
Let's celebrate a little while on this mountain. Let's dance because we deserve it. But tomorrow we're going back to the valley to work, Warnock told a crowd of supporters. Warnock's win also spelled a setback for former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed Walker's candidacy.
With Warnock’s second runoff victory in as many years, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining a seat from the current 50-50 split with John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania. There will be a divided government, however, with Republicans having narrowly flipped House control.
“I often say that a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children,” declared Warnock, a Baptist pastor who is also Georgia's first Black senator. In last month’s election, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes out of almost four million but fell short of the 50% threshold.
Walker, a football legend at the University of Georgia and in the NFL, was unable to overcome damaging allegations, including claims that he paid for two former girlfriends’ abortions despite supporting a national ban on the procedure. The issue was pivotal in favor of the local preacher man.