On November 8th, at 11:00 AM, EST, the Associated Press called the 2020 election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. For the 78 million Americans who cast their ballots for Joe, it felt like the long nightmare was finally coming to the end. Trump may have refused to concede thus far, but make no mistake: come January 20th, Donald J. Trump will be officially out of a job.
But our fight isn’t over just because Biden won. Joe’s got a bold, aggressive plan to tackle the myriad problems in American society — from systemic racism, toclimate change, to the deadly pandemic ravaging our nation. But unless the Senate changes hands, we’ll have nothing but partisan gridlock. Mitch McConnell has already refused to pass a much-needed stimulus package to help Americans recover from the pandemic. And if he still has power when Joe is sworn into office this January, he’ll make sure that relief dies before it can get to a vote on the Senate floor.
But fortunately, that’s something we can accomplish.
Thanks to the hard work of Stacey Abrams and her incredible team of organizers, both of the Georgia Senate races will proceed to a runoff on January 5th. The candidates are both proud Democrats who will help to pass Joe Biden’s ambitious agenda. Their names are Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and this is who they are.
Reverend Raphael Warnock was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1969, in the twilight of the Civil Rights movement.. He lived in Cayton Homes Housing Projects, alongside his eleven brothers and sisters. His mother spent the day picking tobacco and cotton in the farms near their home, while his father, a WWII vet and preacher, made a living selling junk cars to scrappers.
Warnock’s parents instilled in him both their faith and the value of hard work. His father woke him up every morning by telling him, “There’s something for you to do. I don’t know what it is yet, but be ready.” And indeed, there was something for him to do. Because Warnock had a calling - a calling to help others.
With the help of a scholarship, Warnock attended Morehouse college, graduating from the school cum laude in 1991. He went on to attend Union Theological Seminary, where he earned both a Masters of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy. He went on to become a full time preacher. In 2005, he became the youngest ever senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. There, he occupied the same pulpit that Martin Luther King Jr. once preached from.
Warnock has worked hard to fill what are some very large shoes indeed. Throughout his career, he has tried to continue Dr. King’s struggles against both racism and poverty. He’s been a tireless advocate of medicaid expansion in Georgia, as well as a steadfast promoter of civil rights. He’s tirelessly served his community as a pastor; but now, he’s looking to serve it as Georgia’s next senator.
Jon Ossoff is a Georgia native, born in Atlanta in 1987. He’s long been drawn to government service - in high school, he interned for Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights giant John Lewis. He went on to graduate from Georgetown University, and then worked for the office of Congressman Hank Johnson.
Ossoff wasn’t done yet. After a stint at the London School of Economics, he took the helm at TWI Media, where he traveled around the world to expose political corruption. He also crafted a documentary exposing the barbarous crimes committed by ISIS during the terrorist group’s rampage through the Middle East.
But soon, Ossoff realized that he had a different calling. He’d grown up in the Georgia Sixth, the Congressional district formerly held by Newt Gingrich. The district was considered a Republican stronghold where Democrats didn’t even bother trying to win. But, when Congressman Tom Price stepped down to take a position with the Trump administration, a special election was called. Ossoff flirted with the idea of running for the seat. He went to his old boss, John Lewis, who told him, “If anyone can win in the Georgia Sixth, you can.” So he ran.
Ossoff didn’t win that race, but he came within two points of his Republican opponent. But he still felt called to serve. So, alongside Raphael Warnock, he’s running to oust David Perdue and become the next Senator from Georgia.