(Atlanta, GA) — Rev. Raphael Warnock, a prominent Black preacher who leads the storied Ebenezer Baptist Church, secured a barrier-breaking victory in Georgia on Tuesday night.
The native-born son, who delivers sermons from the pulpit that once belonged to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will become the first Black senator from Georgia – a feat that closes out an election cycle dominated by the role of race in politics.
He is only the second Black senator elected from the south since Reconstruction, and among a rare class of 10 African Americans who have served in the upper chamber.
ABC News projected just before 2 a.m. that Warnock will topple incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler, a prominent Republican donor and staunch ally of President Donald Trump who earned political office after being appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to the seat.
Warnock’s victory is the culmination of a year filled with police brutality and violence against African Americans, which sparked months of demonstrations and put the debate over the “Black Lives Matter” movement at the center of the 2020 campaign.
It also brings Democrats one step closer to securing a majority in the Senate, which will hand the Biden administration more room to maneuver on policy, such as voting rights, over the next two years.
Throughout the runoff campaign, Warnock has stumped in tandem with Jon Ossoff, the other Democrat competing on Tuesday against Republican Senator David Perdue.
That race is still too close to call.
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