Democrat Raphael Warnock Claims Victory in Georgia's Senate Runoff

Rev. Warnock faced Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler

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In a historic first for the state, Democrat Raphael Warnock has claimed victory in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election; if confirmed, his defeat of incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler makes him the state’s first Black senator.

In a speech just after 12:30 a.m. from his campaign headquarters, Warnock struck a tone of reconciliation, saying “Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me. I promise you tonight that I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia.”

Later in his speech, which was streamed online, he addressed people who didn’t vote for him. “Know this: I hear you, I see you, and every day I’m in the United States senate I will fight for you, I will fight for your family.”

Loeffler has not conceded, and major media organizations have not yet called the race for Warnock. But if the win is confirmed, as looks likely as of this writing, it would bring Democrats a step closer to marginally controlling the Senate — should fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff win his own senate runoff race against Republican incumbent David Perdue, the Democrats will have 50 seats in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie breaking vote in any dispute.

Warnock, a 51-year-old senior pastor of the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, will become the 11th Black candidate ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

“In no other place other than America is my story even possible. So I believe the American dream is still possible, but it is slipping away from far too many, and the gap between the haves and the have nots is becoming a chasm,” Warnock said in a recent interview with Yahoo News. “I hope that seeing me [become Georgia’s first Black senator] will encourage and inspire other marginalized people and people of good conscience in our state to step up and fight for what they believe in.”

More to come…

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