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Democrat Raphael Warnock Wins Georgia Run-Off US Senate Election
In a Georgia run-off election, Democratic US Senator Raphael Warnock defeated Republican candidate, Herschel Walker, ensuring his party’s control of the Senate for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s term. With Warnock’s victory on Tuesday, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, up from 50-50 after John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania last month.
Democrats were assured control of the chamber when they reached 50 seats following the November 8 midterm elections because Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris would serve as a tiebreaker in a Senate that was evenly divided.
Republicans have narrowly flipped control of the House of Representatives, resulting in a split government. “After a hard-fought campaign – or should I say campaigns – it is my honor to pronounce the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock, 53, told euphoric supporters crammed into a hotel ballroom in Atlanta.
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“I frequently remark that voting is a form of prayer for the future we want for ourselves and our children,” said Warnock, the state’s first Black senator, and a Baptist preacher. “Georgia, you’ve been praying with your lips and legs, your hands and feet, your heads and hearts.” You’ve worked hard, and now we’re standing together.”
In last month’s midterm elections, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes out of nearly four million casts but fell short of the 50% threshold required to avoid a run-off. According to the Associated Press news agency, the senator appeared to be on track for a larger final margin in Tuesday’s run-off, leading by about 100,000 ballots with virtually all votes counted.
Walker, a former football star, acknowledged defeat late Tuesday but stated that he would never stop fighting for Georgia. “There are no excuses in life, and I am not going to make any now because we fought so hard,” the 60-year-old told fans.
The mother of one of those children told The Daily Beast that Walker had not seen his young son since January 2016 and had to go to court for child support, which contradicted Walker’s years of criticizing absentee fathers and his calls for Black men, in particular, to play an active role in their children’s lives.
Walker’s ex-wife claimed he once put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. He has never contested the allegations, and in a 2008 memoir, he blamed his aggressive inclinations on mental illness. Walker’s defeat also represents a blow for former US President Donald Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for President again in 2024.
The former president backed Walker and scores of other prominent Republicans in this year’s midterm elections, but he has a mixed record in his most difficult races. During the run-off campaign, Warnock used rallies to raise worries about Walker’s personal record, as well as a blitz of television commercials that cost more than $400 million, making the race the most costly of the 2022 midterm season.
His triumph marks the third Senate victory for Democrats in Georgia in the previous two years, fueled by a significant Black population and the diversifying Atlanta suburbs, which have negated conservative white voters’ historic supremacy.
In a tweet, Biden congratulated Warnock and stated that Georgians had rejected “MAGAism,” a reference to Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan. “Tonight, Georgia people defended our democracy, rejected Ultra MAGAism, and, most significantly, re-elected a fine man to the Senate.” “Here’s to another six years,” Biden tweeted.
While returning Warnock to the Senate, Georgia voters re-elected Republican Governor Brian Kemp by a significant margin and approved an all-Republican slate of statewide constitutional officers. “I’ll work with anyone to get things done for the people of Georgia,” Warnock said during his campaign, referring to the state’s historically conservative inclinations and his desire to win over Republican-leaning independents and, at the very least, some moderate Republicans.
Warnock supplemented that argument with a focus on his own principles, bolstered by his position as senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr once lectured. On Tuesday, Atlanta voter Tom Callaway applauded the Republican Party’s strength in Georgia and stated that he voted for Kemp in the first round.
He did, however, vote for Warnock because he did not believe “Herschel Walker has the credentials to be a senator.” “I didn’t think he had a clear explanation of what he stood for or a campaign that made sense,” Callaway added.
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