Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia run-off election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden’s current term and capping an underwhelming mid-term cycle for the GOP in the last major vote of the year.
With Warnock’s second runoff victory in as many years, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining a seat from the current 50-50 split with John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania. There will be divided government, however, with Republicans having narrowly flipped House control.
“After a hard-fought campaign — or, should I say, campaigns — it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock, 53, told jubilant supporters who packed a downtown Atlanta hotel ballroom.
“I often say that a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children,” declared Warnock, a Baptist pastor and his state's first Black senator. “Georgia, you have been praying with your lips and your legs, your hands and your feet, your heads and your hearts. You have put in the hard work, and here we are standing together.”
In last month’s election, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes out of almost four million cast, but fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
National Democrats celebrated Tuesday, with Biden tweeting a photo of his congratulatory phone call to the senator.
Read more on RFI English
Georgia run-off election set to determine composition of US Senate
US midterms J-4: early voting closed in Georgia, activists continue the fight
US midterms J-3: 100 black men are combatting racism in an Atlanta school