Winner of run-off election will become Georgia’s first full-term black senator

Senator Raphael Warnock already made history in 2021 when he became Georgia’s first black senator, winning a runoff to earn a partial term. But whoever wins this year’s runoff will earn another accolade: the first black senator to win a full six-year term in Georgia.

The achievement is within reach of Mr. Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker. But that’s about where their similarities end.

Mr Warnock is a sitting senator and pastor, while Mr Walker is a former football star and political neophyte. They have radically different beliefs, public speaking styles and personalities. In the days leading up to the run-off, Mr Walker held a series of modest events while Mr Warnock held rallies and urged hundreds of worshipers to vote during his sermon on Sunday.

Racing has increasingly become an exercise in damage control for Mr. Walker. Uncovered details about his private life, coupled with misrepresentations and exaggerations about his upbringing, charitable giving, business and law enforcement work, have affected his campaign.

But polls still show a close race – which is unsurprising, given that less than 40,000 votes separated the two men on Election Day last month. As each side sought advantage, the contest became the second most expensive Senate race in American history.

After Mr Warnock defeated Senator Kelly Loeffler in 2021, he became just the 11th black US senator in history. Mr Walker, if he emerged victorious, would be the 12th.


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