Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock on Tuesday beat Republican Herschel Walker by a margin of 51.3% to 48.7% in a runoff election, becoming the first full-term first Black senator from Georgia. Warnock, a Methodist pastor, and Medicaid activist, initially won his seat in a 2020 special election, defeating incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler. His win gave the Democrats 50 of the Senate seats, and they ruled the chamber with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris who is the president of the Senate.
Walker, a 12-season running back in the National Football League, was picked to run for the Senate in Georgia by former President Donald Trump. Walker began his campaign with high favorability ratings and was endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, which was a sign that the Republican establishment was supporting him. But starting in June, various news outlets began to publish disturbing findings about Walker, who, among other things, as a pro-life candidate, appears to have paid for more than one abortion for his women friends.
When asked in July about his voters’ reactions to the abortion stories, Walker said abortion rights were “things that people are not concerned about.” Turns out they are. Walker lost to Walker in the November 8 Senate election, but neither candidate won 50% of the votes, and under Georgia law had to face each other again in a runoff election. This time, Warnock won more decisively.
Jewish organizations have been heavily involved on both sides of the Georgia Senate race, with the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) saying it shipped its entire “victory team” to Georgia to help the Walker campaign. Meanwhile, the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) advertised in Georgia’s Jewish community and supported Warnock’s turn out the vote operation.
On the denominational front, the Orthodox Jews were for the most part against Warnock (Finally: Orthodox Rabbis Attack Raphael Warnock’s Anti-Semitism), while the non-Orthodox supported him (169 Jewish Clergies Defend Senate Candidate Warnock Who Accused Israel of Apartheid, Said Jesus Was Palestinian).
For the record: a video from 2018 shows Warnock delivering a hate-filled rant against Israel and the Trump administration on the occasion of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. He repeated the lie about Israel taking away water from the PA Arabs, and accused the Jewish State of shooting “unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey. And I don’t care who does it, it is wrong. It is wrong to shoot down God’s children like they don’t matter at all. And it’s no more anti-Semitic for me to say that than it is anti-white for me to say that black lives matter. Palestinian lives matter.”
Ten years earlier, in 2008, Warnock defended President Obama’s anti-Semitic preacher, Jeremiah Wright, on Fox News, saying, “We celebrate Rev. Wright in the same way that we celebrate the truth-telling tradition of the black church, which when preachers tell the truth, very often it makes people uncomfortable.”
So, not necessarily a friend.