Raphael Warnock has made history, becoming Georgia's first Black senator and the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate.
Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, an avid supporter of Trump, who boasted she was more conservative than 'Attila the Hun'.
Only 10 African Americans have served in the US Senate before Warnock. Republican Hiram Revels of Mississippi was the first African American senator, in 1870. Other notable Black senators include Republican Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi, who was born into slavery and began his term in the Senate in 1875 and Carol Moseley Braun .
Barack Obama also served in the Senate and later went on to become the nation's first Black president. In 2013, Tim Scott, a Republican became the first African American in the Senate since Reconstruction to represent a southern state.
News outlets, including AP and CNN confirmed Wednesday morning, that Warnock beat incumbent GOP senator Kelly Loeffler, with Black voters in the Atlanta metro area, the home of the Civil Rights Movement, and suburbs turning out to help Warnock win the seat.
Reverend Warnock, 51, has not held elected political office.
Since 2005, he has been the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist church, where Martin Luther King Jr grew up as a member of the congregation and later preached.
"That's why I love this country so much and I refuse to give in to the forces of cynicism. It takes hard work. Change is slow, often it comes in fits and starts," Warnock said in an interview with CNN.
"Our democracy tends to expand and then there are moments when it contracts,"
Warnock grew up in Savannah, Georgia, in public housing, the 11th out of 12 children. He's the first college graduate in his family, having attended Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta
He is known for campaigning against the death penalty and for pro-choice reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ equality, police reform, tackling the climate crisis and taking strong action to address economic inequalities.
In a speech Tuesday night, Warnock thanked supporters, paid tribute to his mother and highlighted his family history as how emblematic his candidacy is of the American dream.
"Because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator," Warnock said in his remarks.
In November, Georgia, where about a third of the population is Black, voted for the Democrats in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 and are on the verge of delivering the opposition party control of the Senate.