Rev. Raphael Warnock’s name will soon be known on a national level as the senior pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Atlanta church, who is also expected to be endorsed by Stacey Abrams, entered the race for Georgia Senate against Sen. Kelly Loeffler on Thursday.
Warnock announced his campaign against Loeffler with a visual that intricately detailed his journey from a Savannah, Georgia public housing complex to the famed Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where he commandeers the pulpit.
“I will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them. I will focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard,” he said in the campaign announcement video.
Warnock says he is no stranger to hard work and understands that his “service extends far beyond the doors of the church,” according to a report from AJC.
The Georgia Senate candidate’s work on the social activism front dates back 15 years with him leading voter registration drives, advocating for an expansion of Medicaid, vigorously standing against capital punishment and fervently pushing for an overhaul of criminal justice policy.
Reports indicate that Warnock may face financial challenges regarding raising funds for his race, however, as is he up against an incumbent that has promised to use at least $20 million of her own money to fund her campaign.
The AJC reports that Warnock will likely amplify the policies Abrams proposed during her Senate run in 2018, which includes “to expand Medicaid, advocate for voting rights and pursue economic incentives for disadvantaged Georgians.”
Aside from Abrams, Warnock is expected to receive additional endorsements from other distinguished Democrats on state and national levels.
The race for Georgia Senate will have a unique twist in November around as there will be two races for the same ballot following the retirement of Republican U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson due to health reasons, CBS46 reports. One race is for current Sen. David Perdue‘s seat, while the other is to permanently fill Isakson’s seat. Perdue is running to be re-elected.
He also said that he plans to maintain his senior pastor role at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Warnock has held this position at the famed church since 2005. As the son of two Pentecostal pastors, he was called to ministry at 35 years old, making him the youngest person to hold a senior pastorate position at the church, which was founded in 1886, according to Ebenezer ATL.
Warnock is a graduate of the Leadership Program, sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee. He is also an alumnus of the Summer Leadership Institute of Harvard University, as well as, Leadership Atlanta. Warnock graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Warnock continued his studies at Union Theological Seminary and received a Master of Philosophy degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the field of systematic theology.
The 2020 Georgia Senate election is slated for Nov. 3, 2020.