Georgia voters are sending Sen. Raphael Warnock back to Washington for six years.
The Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor won the historic U.S. Senate runoff race against his scandal-plagued Republican rival, Herschel Walker.
With all of the precincts reporting, Warnock finished with 51.35% of the vote to Walker’s 48.65%. In all, more than 3.5 million votes were cast in the senate runoff election, according to the secretary of state’s office. It’s the fourth race in which Warnock has participated in less than two years, having scored a previous runoff election win over then-GOP incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler nearly two years ago.
The crowd inside Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis hotel chanted “Six more years!” as Warnock took the stage for his victory speech. The Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor thanked his supporters “from the bottom of my heart.”
“The people have spoken,” Warnock said. “I often say that a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children. Voting is faith put into action. And Georgia, you have been praying with your lips and your legs, with your hands and your feet, your heads and your hearts. You have put in hard work and here we are standing together.”
This U.S. Senate matchup was the first in state history between two Black contenders, and only the second in American history. Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, made history nearly two years ago when he became the first Black U.S. Senator ever to represent Georgia on Capitol Hill.
Unlike his friend, former President Donald Trump, Walker was gracious in defeat, telling his supporters to “believe in this country,” and “believe in our election officials.”
“Don’t let anyone tell you that we can’t, because I’m here to tell you that we can,” Walker said. “I’m never going to stop fighting for Georgia. I’m never going to stop fighting for you, because you’re my family.”
Warnock’s win means Democrats now have a 51-49 majority in the Senate.
Read more about Georgia’s U.S. Senate race:
A Final Look at Where Warnock and Walker Stand on the Issues
These Black Residents Didn’t Vote. Here’s Why.
Why These Black Voters Say They’re Used to Being Blamed for Election Losses
How Warnock is Supporting a Pro-Black Agenda on Capitol Hill