Early Wednesday morning, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock was declared the projected winner in the U.S. Senate runoff race between incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler.

The result was called shortly after 2 a.m. by media organizations, including the Associated Press.

Warnock took a narrow lead over Sen. Kelly Loeffler after votes were tallied in DeKalb County shortly after 11:00 PM. In the other runoff race, incumbent Senator David Perdue’s lead slipped away as Democrat Jon Ossoff surged ahead shortly after 1 a.m. As of 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, Ossoff had a lead of 9,527 votes out of nearly 4.4 million counted, or a margin of less than 0.2 percentage points, according to the Associated Press.

Under Georgia law, a trailing candidate may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.

Warnock, the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, has become the first Black Senator elected in Georgia. Loeffler was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp in January 2020. She campaigned as a rubber stamp for President Donald Trump.

During the race, Loeffler attempted to paint Warnock as a “Radical Liberal”, “a Marxist”, plus as a ‘woke Negro’, and an agent of socialism. Loeffler also attacked Ebenezer Baptist Church in a campaign ad that artificially darkened Warnock’s skin. However, as the election progressed, Warnock continued to fight for social justice, criminal justice reform, and COVID-19 relief as he promised to bring a return on investment to Black and disenfranchised voters.

In the end, Warnock, the son of a Savannah preacher and a graduate of Morehouse College, was elevated and supported by a Spelman College graduate, Stacey Abrams, and will sit in a U.S. Senate that will be presided by Kamala Harris, a Howard University alumnus.

“I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your vote for in this election,” Warnock said in an address.

If Democrats win both seats, the upper chamber would be divided 50-50, giving Vice President-elect Harris the power to cast tie-breaking votes. Republicans need to win one of the two seats to keep their majority.

 

In this Nov. 15, 2020, file photo Raphael Warnock, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks during a campaign rally in Marietta, Ga. Warnock and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler are in a runoff election for the Senate seat. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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