Senator Raphael Warnock, 53, has won the Georgia Senate runoff elections against Republican Herschel Walker. Both candidates failed to secure more than 50% of votes during the midterm elections in November.
The result of the Georgia election has been crucial for the Democrats since they will now be able to hold on to their majority in the Senate without needing the tie-breaking vote of
Vice President Kamala Harris. The Republicans were vying for a win after having already secured a majority in the US House of Representatives.
Who is Raphael Warnock?
Raphael Warnock is a pastor at a historic Atlanta church who has served less than two years in the Senate. Warnock has worked to cap the price of insulin, control gun violence and protect rights.
The 53-year-old came to the limelight in Georgia politics during the campaign to expand Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Warnock actively campaigned for Georgia Democrats to increase outreach to low-income communities.
Before getting into politics, he has actively been part in religious work. In the 1990s, he served as the youth pastor and then assistant pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. In the 2000s, Warnock was senior pastor at Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2005, Warnock became senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
In July 2020, Warnock presided at Representative John Lewis’s funeral at Ebenezer Church.
Warnock is the eleventh of twelve children born to Verlene and Jonathan Warnock, both Pentecostal pastors. His father served in the US Army during World War II.
Warnock graduated from Sol C. Johnson High School in 1987 and later attended Morehouse College, from which he graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.
He earned Master of Divinity, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary, a school affiliated with Columbia University.
On January 30, 2020, Warnock announced his candidacy in Georgia’s 2020 United States Senate special election, seeking to unseat Republican Kelly Loeffler.
On January 5, 2021, during the runoff election, Warnock defeated Loeffler with 51% of the popular vote. Following this, he announced he would seek election to a full term in 2022.
Warnock, who lives in Atlanta, married Oulèye Ndoye in a public ceremony on February 14, 2016. The couple has two children. They separated in November 2019, and their divorce was finalized in 2020.
According to the celebrity net worth published in Atlanta Journal Constitution, Warnock holds an estimated net worth of $800,000.