Rev. Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s senator-elect, said Wednesday morning that he was excited to soon begin his new job, celebrating hours after clinching victory and putting Democrats on the brink of controlling both houses of Congress.
“I can’t wait to get to work, to put my boots on, and represent the people’s concerns in the United States Senate,” Warnock told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview, one of several he gave to various networks after defeating incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a runoff special election for her seat.
“I hope to be the pastor among peers in the United States Senate. To appeal to the better angels of our nature. And to remind us that Dr. King was right: We’re tied in a single garment of destiny,” he said.
Warnock’s win resets Republicans’ majority in the Senate to 50-49 with the results of Georgia’s other Senate runoff race still outstanding. Democrat Jon Ossoff led Republican David Perdue by more than 16,000 ballots as of Wednesday morning with about 98 percent of the expected vote already tallied.
The roughly 100,000 votes still left to be recorded in Georgia are expected to significantly favor the Democrats. If Ossoff also prevails over Republican David Perdue, the balance of power in the Senate will strike even at 50-50, allowing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes on key pieces of the incoming administration’s legislative agenda.
Loeffler has thus far refused to concede the race to Warnock, but the senator-elect said Wednesday morning: “Oh, I expect to serve in just a few days.” With his swearing-in, Warnock will become the first Black Democrat to win election to the Senate from a Southern state and only the 11th Black senator in American history.
“I can’t tell you how honored I am that the people of my home state — where I was born and raised and educated at Morehouse College — have decided to send me to the United States Senate to represent their concerns at this defining moment in American history,” Warnock said.
“It’s the honor of my life that I get to represent the people of this very great state in the United States Senate,” he added.
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