The incumbent senator has defeated Trump-Pick Herschel Walker in the most important US state election in Georgia.
Democratic US Senator Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia, according to the Associated Press, ensuring his party’s majority in the Senate during the term of President Joe Biden.
With Warnock’s second victory on Tuesday, the Democrats will have a majority in the Senate 51-49, they will take the seat from the existing parties 50-50 following the victory of John Fetterman in Pennsylvania.
There has been a divided government, however, and Republicans have made little progress in controlling the House of Representatives.
Warnock’s victory cements Georgia as a potential battleground for the 2024 presidential election.
Democrats have now won three state Senate races in the past two years and Biden carried the previously Republican seat in the 2020 election.
Walker’s defeat is a setback for former US President Donald Trump as he seeks a Republican re-election to the White House in 2024. The former president endorsed Walker and many other prominent Republicans in this year’s midterm elections, but is running out. with a mixed record in its most competitive races.
Walker’s campaign has been plagued by repeated backlash and claims by ex-boyfriends that he paid them to have abortions, even as he campaigned to have it banned. He has denied the allegations.
Warnock highlighted these concerns with the nature of the campaign and the amount of social media advertising that has made the race the most expensive in the 2022 midterms, with spending exceeding $400m. His victory is the third Senate victory for Georgia Democrats in the past two years, boosted by a large black and diverse Atlanta community that has ended the historic dominance of white voters.
While Georgia voters returned Warnock to the Senate, they also elected Republican Governor Brian Kemp in a landslide and elected a Republican slate of state officials.
“I will work with anyone to make things work for the people of Georgia,” Warnock, the state’s first black senator, said throughout his campaign, acknowledging his commitment to history and his need to win over independent Republicans. at least some Republican independents in a midterm election year.
Warnock, 53, added to the debate by emphasizing his personal interests, inspired by his role as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.
On Tuesday, Atlanta voter Tom Callaway praised the strength of the Republican Party in Georgia and said he supported Kemp in early voting.
But he said he voted for Warnock because he did not think “Herschel Walker has the qualifications to be a senator”.
“I didn’t believe that he had any convictions or that he had a sound campaign,” Callaway said.