Warnock considers Senate Bid

| September 28, 2015


ATLANTA — The Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, gave an “everything but” speech to more than 1,000 Georgia Democrats gathered Saturday night for the party’s signature fundraiser.

As in, he did “everything but” announce his candidacy for U.S.Senate.

But the senior shepherd of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic church made crystal clear he was leaning toward challenging Republican Johnny Isakson, and he outlined what would be his platform in a campaign against the two-term incumbent.

A call for the expansion of Medicaid. A push to raise the minimum wage. A demand to expand voting rights. A promise to end wage inequality between men and women. And a vow to “defend the dignity” of gays and other minorities.

In short, it was a blueprint for a Democratic campaign that tries to supercharge the party’s base by appealing to core issues – a campaign that would veer from the more moderate-leaning bid for office last year from Michelle Nunn.

And the crowd rewarded Warnock with wild applause as he gave his eight-minute speech.

“It has been rumored that I am considering a run for the United States Senate. It’s true, I’m thinking about it. I’m mulling it over,” said Warnock to cheers, adding: “I’m sick and tired of seeing the people I serve every day as a pastor work harder and longer and have less to show for it.”

He continued:

“Whether I choose to run or not, I have to work. Democrats, can I ask you a question tonight? Are you ready to work? Say it like you’re in a Baptist church. Are you ready to work? [the crowd roared in response]

“We’ve got work to do. There are 700,000 eligible, unregistered people of color in this state. They are not disengaged or disinterested. They are disillusioned. They see no connection between the candidates and the people and the politics they serve. And sadly, in many instances they are right.”

Warnock told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in August he would soon decide whether he will run against Isakson, who is seeking his third term. He would be the first Democrat to challenge Isakson, who recently revealed he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.


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