Campaign

NAACP, Black-led political groups cheer Warnock win

Raphael Warnock
AP Photo/John Bazemore
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaks during a campaign rally at Georgia Tech Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, in Atlanta.

The NAACP and other Black-led political organizations are celebrating Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock’s reelection to the Senate following Tuesday’s runoff with GOP challenger Herschel Walker. 

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, credited the “tireless efforts” of organizers, volunteers and Black voters for Warnock’s win. 

“We showed Georgia, and the rest of the country, what Black power looks like,” Johnson said in a statement. “The NAACP thanks you for your unwavering commitment to democracy, and looks forward to your engagement as we continue our work to hold elected officials accountable and build a brighter future for every American. Just as we have done for the last 100+ years, we will continue this fight to ensure that our representation goes far beyond Election Day, and our voices are included in all conversations where decisions are being made. One thing is clear — when we work together, our power is unmatched.”

The NAACP spent $2 million in radio ads across battleground states, including Georgia, during this year’s midterm elections. Leading up to Tuesday’s runoff, the group offered free rides to the polls through a partnership with the rideshare service Lyft.

The NAACP also recruited legal professionals to serve as poll monitors and established the Voter Incident Report form, a tool for voters to report any form of voter suppression at the ballot box. 

Georgia’s runoff saw record-breaking turnout, with more than 1.9 million people casting their ballots. Black voters accounted for nearly 32 percent of voter turnout in the runoff. 

“Once again, Black Georgians have shown up and shown out, ensuring that democracy prevails, and Black voices are heard, loud and clear. We knocked on doors, we made calls, sent text messages, and ensured that our entire community came out in full force” Gerald Griggs, Georgia NAACP state conference president, said in a statement. 

“Tonight, we made history, and I could not be more proud to call myself a Georgian. Every ballot casted today is a victory for our democracy. Thank you to every warrior who came to battle for the future of our state, and our democracy. This is what power looks like.”

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, the largest independent field operation in Georgia this cycle, said Warnock’s reelection was a repudiation of the politics of former President Trump and the Republican Party. 

“Make no mistake, this race, like the majority of other races in the 2022 midterm election, were driven by voters rejecting the anti-democracy politics of the GOP,” Shropshire said in a statement.

“Even with a divided government in Congress, Senator Warnock’s victory means a strengthened Democratic majority in the Senate, one that will help the Biden Administration and Democrats continue to deliver for the voters that put them in office.”

She added that Warnock’s win is proof of a larger infrastructure built by Black leaders, one that led Democrats to key wins throughout the midterm cycle.

Color of Change PAC, which focuses on building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices and electing Black candidates, called Warnock a “tireless advocate for Black communities” in Georgia and across the nation. 

Warnock’s reelection to the Senate, spokesperson Rashad Robinson said, “is a testament to the organizers, activists, and community members who have been building Black political power across the state for years.”

“Even in the face of rampant voter suppression efforts by Governor Brian Kemp and the Republican state legislature, Sen. Warnock ran a fierce campaign that shattered records to turn out millions of progressive voters across Georgia,” Robinson added. “Sen. Warnock proved that running a campaign based on the issues that matter to Black people — even in a swing state — is a winning formula, and that defending our democracy is not just a platform, but a critical GOTV [get-out-the-vote] strategy.

“We’re excited to see Sen. Warnock continue his critical work in the Senate to fight for progressive legislation on issues that matter most to Black communities, such as protecting voting rights, redefining public safety and protecting abortion access.”

Warnock came to office in 2021, after defeating then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in a special election that also went to a runoff. He will now serve a full six-year term in the upper chamber, giving Democrats a 51-49 majority.

Tags Derrick Johnson Herschel Walker Raphael Warnock
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