After Tuesday’s runoff election in Georgia, the Reverend Raphael Warnock will become the state’s first Black senator, according to CNN. The candidate, who is currently the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who heavily supported Trump.
“I am an iteration and an example of the American dream,” Warnock said on CNN’s “New Day.” “When I think about the arc of our history, what Georgia did last night is its own message in the midst of a moment in which so many people are trying to divide our country, at a time we can least afford to be divided.”
Warnock is bringing many firsts to the Southern state. With his election, Warnock is the first Democrat from Georgia elected to the Senate in 20 years, as well as the first Black Senator. His election is the culmination of voter registration efforts in the city conducted by activists like former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams.
The Georgia Senate races are major news for a few reasons. First, after no Senate candidate received 50% or more of the votes in November, the races turned into runoffs for Warnock and John Ossoff, who is running against Republican David Perdue for the state’s other Senate seat. And those two runoffs will essentially decide the fate of the US Senate; if both Democratic candidates win, the Democrats will regain control. While the Warnock race has been called by many news outlets, Ossoff’s race has yet to be — despite the candidate claiming victory Wednesday morning.
With Ossoff’s race yet to be called, the Senate is still on the line. Trump played to the uncertainty he has stoked regarding voter fraud allegations and election-rigging with a rally in northwest Georgia on Monday. Trump urged voters to elect Perdue and Loeffler, claiming the November US election was rigged and that Biden would not take the White House despite having won. Biden, on the other hand, who held a rally in Atlanta on Monday, advocated that voting for Ossoff and Warnock would help to end the gridlock in Washington.