Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock delivers a speech during a campaign rally at the John Lewis Mural in Atlanta on Thursday, November 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

At the foot of the John Lewis Mural in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn District, Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, D-Georgia, told the crowd of about one hundred people the runoff race between he and Republican Herschel Walker will be about who’s right for Georgia among other things.

More importantly, both the Republicans and the Democrats need to win five seats in order to control the U.S. Senate. Both Walker and Warnock failed to reach the 50-percent-plus-one threshold required to avoid a runoff, however, Warnock told the crowd he’s had experience with runoffs before.

“I’m asking you to do what you’ve done before: I need you to show up and vote,” Warnock said during his speech. “Because the vote is a kind of prayer. For the world we desire for ourselves and for our children. A vote is about putting our faith into action. And for those who gave me their support of this election, thank you. So for those of you who made a different choice, this time, whether for Herschel Walker or someone else, I want to speak directly to you over the next four weeks.”

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock speaks during a campaign rally at the John Lewis Mural in Atlanta on Thursday, November 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

The state of play nationwide is a tenuous one. Currently in Nevada, the Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt, is leading the incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, yet the districts are still counting ballots in Reno and Las Vegas. 

In Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly is leading the Donald Trump-backed Blake Masters by more than 100,000 votes. 

Lastly, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s victory over Republican challenger Mehmet Oz, has the Republicans publicly distancing themselves from the 45th President of the United States. The red wave that was promised by Republicans ultimately did not materialize.

As the GOP rebukes and repudiates the former President for the paltry number of seats they’ve picked up in the House, the state of Georgia will be back on the national stage once again. The winner of the runoff will undoubtedly decide which party will hold power for the next two years. More importantly, the Republicans are fearful of the possibility they would be the minority party for the second straight cycle. 

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock hugs Renee Rayles, an actress with Type 1 Diabetes, during a campaign rally at the John Lewis Mural in Atlanta on Thursday, November 10, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

During the rally, actress Renee Rayles told the crowd she suffers from Type One Diabetes and relies on insulin to keep her healthy. Rayles recalled the moment Walker erroneously said diabetes can be cured by proper diet, exercise or nutrition.

“That means that I need insulin to live is the only thing that I can use,” Rayles said during her speech. “If I do not have insulin, we can actually die within a week and that’s pretty scary. Meanwhile, Herschel Walker told Georgians living with diabetes to simply eat right.”

Warnock’s plan, introduced in February, capped the cost of insulin to $35 per month. He also said it does not matter if an individual is using the pens or vials. It does not matter if an individual is on private insurance or Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage.

“This race is about whether or not the person representing you has what it takes to take on the challenges for you and your family,” Warnock said. “And believe me, I know that these are challenging times. It’s about whether or not we do all that we can to keep the American Dream alive for the next generation, and for all of our children. This race is about competence. It’s about character.”

Later in the day, Walker kicked off his campaign in Canton, Ga. in front of 3,000 people. He characterized Warnock as one of the “Marxists that are trying to destroy this country.”

Throughout the attacks, Warnock wanted to make clear that Walker had not put forth a plan for Georgia. 

“Herschel Walker has shown us that he’s not capable,” Warnock said of Walker’s leadership capabilities. “Herschel Walker has no vision for our state or for our country. Think about it. We’ve been running now for a little while. I’ve yet to hear him tell us what he actually wants to do.”

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...