Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock vowed to be a senator for all Georgians in video remarks he delivered early Wednesday morning, as he inched past Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a race that could help determine Senate control.
Speaking via livestream, Warnock thanked the more than 2 million Georgians who voted for him in a message that hinted of a victory speech. But the race remained too close to call just past midnight Wednesday, with Warnock ahead of Loeffler by less than a percentage point. And with thousands of votes outstanding, the race likely won’t be called until later into Wednesday’s daylight hours.
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible,” Warnock said. “So Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me. And I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia.”
Despite the race remaining too close to call, Warnock’s speech echoed a number of prominent Democrats who lauded the candidate as the victor. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and organizer Stacey Abrams congratulated Warnock on Twitter, writing: “Soon, he will walk those august halls & cast votes as a leader with courage, justice and integrity.”
Loeffler, for her part, showed no sign of conceding. The Georgia Republican made her own comments to a live audience of supporters as Warnock spoke, saying, “We’re going to win this election.”
Meanwhile, Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is facing former Sen. David Perdue to fill Georgia’s other Senate seat, also celebrated the night as a win, though he remained behind Perdue by under 2,000 votes.
“When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate. The outstanding vote is squarely in parts of the state where Jon’s performance has been dominant,” Ossoff’s campaign manager Ellen Foster said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the process through in the coming hours and moving ahead so Jon can start fighting for all Georgians in the U.S. Senate.”
During his statement, Warnock talked about his family’s long history in the state and about following in the footsteps of Rep. John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Democrat serves as the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, King’s spiritual home.
He spoke about his parents’ humble origins in the deep South and overcoming the odds in a race against one of the richest senators in U.S. history.
“A son of my late father, who was a pastor, a veteran, and a small business man. And my mother who as a teenager growing up in Georgia, used to pick somebody’s else’s cotton,” Warnock said. “But the other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator.”
He continued: “May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold of the American dream.”
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