On Wednesday Reverend Raphael Warnock scripted history, becoming Georgia's first Black Senator. Not only that, he is also the only Black Democrat from the south to hold a US senate seat and the 11th Black Senator in US history. As he takes office, he and Republican senator Tim Scott of South Carolina will be the only African American Senators from the southern states.
Warnock's achievements only become more impressive when one considers the fact that he comes from a rather humble background. As his official website candidly admits, his family was "short on money, but long on faith, love and humor".
He was the 11th out of 12 children and the family worked hard to sustain themselves. His father was a veteran, small businessman, and a preacher. His mother who had grown up in Waycross, "where she spent summers picking tobacco and cotton", had taken care of the children.
"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," Warnock said in the opening remarks of his victory speech on Wednesday. While vote counting continues, The Associated Press has called the poll in his favour. Presently, his rival Kelly Loeffler trails more than 45,000 votes behind him.
"We were told 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. Should Democrat Jon Ossoff win the poll that he is currently leading, the party will be in control of the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in 10 years. It will also make life simpler for the Biden administration in many ways.
The Ossoff versus Perdue race remains too close to call at 7 am EST Wednesday. Under state law, a recount can be requested if the margin of election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.
(With inputs from agencies)