Warnock vs. Walker: Georgia Holds Runoff Election for Contested US Senate Seat

Warnock vs. Walker: Georgia Holds Runoff Election for Contested US Senate Seat
Warnock vs. Walker: Georgia Holds Runoff Election for Contested US Senate Seat

Political Editor with files from sputniknews:

Arabnews24.ca:Tuesday 6 December 2022 11:44 AM: https://sputniknews.com/20221206/warnock-vs-walker-georgia-holds-runoff-election-for-contested-us-senate-seat-1105112080.html

Warnock vs. Walker: Georgia Holds Runoff Election for Contested US Senate Seat

Warnock vs. Walker: Georgia Holds Runoff Election for Contested US Senate Seat

Voters in the US state of Georgia are heading to the polls on Tuesday to settle a very close race for one of the state’s two US Senate seats, after the... 06.12.2022, Sputnik International

2022-12-06T16:43+0000

2022-12-06T16:43+0000

2022-12-06T16:43+0000

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Actually, voters have been casting their ballots since last week, after a court ruled it could begin on November 26. The following days shattered state records as over 1.8 million Georgians voted in that week.The winner will serve a full six-year term in the US Senate, the upper chamber of the US Congress, which includes two delegates from each state, regardless of its population. The balance of power in the Senate hangs on the outcome of the Georgia runoff election, since Democrats have 48 senators and Republicans have 49, but the 2 Independent senators both side with the Democrats. In the event of a tie, the tie-breaking vote is cast by US Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat.Georgia’s other senator is Sen. John Ossoff, a Democrat who took office in 2021.Democrat US Senator Rev. Raphael WarnockWarnock took office in 2020 in a special election set in motion by the early retirement of Sen. Johnny Isakson a year prior. Kemp appointed Republican Kelly Loeffler to replace Isakson for the remainder of his term. Like in 2022, the 2020 vote between Warnock and Loeffler was too close to call, so a December runoff vote was held, which Warnock lost.Warnock’s politics are fairly in line with the Democrats’ platform, supporting expanding access to healthcare, abortion, LGBTQ rights, more funding for anti-COVID-19 measures, and the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. He is against the death penalty and “concealed carry” permits for firearms. However, he has worked across the aisle on important infrastructure legislation with Republican colleagues.Republican Herschel WalkerIn an unusual twist, Warnock’s challenger, Herschel Walker, is also a Black man. Walker is a career athlete, playing college-level, then professional football as a running back, during which he was a mainstay of the Dallas Cowboys’ 1990s dominance of American football, and even joined the US’ national bobsledding team at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in France. He later started Renaissance Man Food Services, which distributes chicken products.Walker has continued to support Trump’s claims of election fraud in the 2020 US presidential election, even after the US Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. Georgia was a major battleground in that election, with Trump pressuring the state’s Republican government to alter the election results in his favor. His political positions largely align with other Republicans, including opposing abortion and transgender rights, being critical of efforts to combat climate change, and supporting Trump’s wall at the US-Mexico border and personal gun ownership.In the weeks leading up to the November 8 election, Walker struggled to fend off accusations of hypocrisy after an ex-girlfriend of his told US media about how he supported her aborting a pregnancy while they were together and even financed the procedure. Walker has denied the claims.

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Voters in the US state of Georgia are heading to the polls on Tuesday to settle a very close race for one of the state’s two US Senate seats, after the November 8 election failed to decide the issue.

Actually, voters have been casting their ballots since last week, after a court ruled it could begin on November 26. The following days shattered state records as over 1.8 million Georgians voted in that week.
However, the early voting period was much shorter than in past years, thanks to a law signed by Governor Brian Kemp last year. Mirroring Republican efforts across the country, Kemp said the measure was aimed at protecting the “integrity” of the election by cracking down on the most common methods of voter fraud. However, critics, such as Kemp’s rival, Democrat Stacey Abrams, have accused the GOP of suppressing the vote of Black residents with the new restrictions.

The winner will serve a full six-year term in the US Senate, the upper chamber of the US Congress, which includes two delegates from each state, regardless of its population. The balance of power in the Senate hangs on the outcome of the Georgia runoff election, since Democrats have 48 senators and Republicans have 49, but the 2 Independent senators both side with the Democrats. In the event of a tie, the tie-breaking vote is cast by US Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat.

Georgia’s other senator is Sen. John Ossoff, a Democrat who took office in 2021.

Democrat US Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock

Warnock took office in 2020 in a special election set in motion by the early retirement of Sen. Johnny Isakson a year prior. Kemp appointed Republican Kelly Loeffler to replace Isakson for the remainder of his term. Like in 2022, the 2020 vote between Warnock and Loeffler was too close to call, so a December runoff vote was held, which Warnock lost.

Warnock is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where in July 2020 he presided over the funeral of Civil Rights Movement icon Rep. John Lewis, also from Georgia. His victory was historic for a number of reasons, including being the first Black man to represent Georgia - or indeed, any former Confederate state - in the US Senate, and the first Democratic senator from Georgia in 20 years.

Warnock’s politics are fairly in line with the Democrats’ platform, supporting expanding access to healthcare, abortion, LGBTQ rights, more funding for anti-COVID-19 measures, and the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. He is against the death penalty and “concealed carry” permits for firearms. However, he has worked across the aisle on important infrastructure legislation with Republican colleagues.

Republican Herschel Walker

In an unusual twist, Warnock’s challenger, Herschel Walker, is also a Black man. Walker is a career athlete, playing college-level, then professional football as a running back, during which he was a mainstay of the Dallas Cowboys’ 1990s dominance of American football, and even joined the US’ national bobsledding team at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in France. He later started Renaissance Man Food Services, which distributes chicken products.

Aside from some political endorsements as an area businessman - including Kemp in 2018 and Loefller in 2020 - Walker’s big foray into the political world came in 2018, when then-US President Donald Trump appointed Walker to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Trump later encouraged Walker to run against Warnock, and gave his campaign an official endorsement. Walker has also been endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a rival of Trump’s among the GOP leadership, signaling the party was united behind his campaign.

Walker has continued to support Trump’s claims of election fraud in the 2020 US presidential election, even after the US Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. Georgia was a major battleground in that election, with Trump pressuring the state’s Republican government to alter the election results in his favor. His political positions largely align with other Republicans, including opposing abortion and transgender rights, being critical of efforts to combat climate change, and supporting Trump’s wall at the US-Mexico border and personal gun ownership.

In the weeks leading up to the November 8 election, Walker struggled to fend off accusations of hypocrisy after an ex-girlfriend of his told US media about how he supported her aborting a pregnancy while they were together and even financed the procedure. Walker has denied the claims.

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