After runoff win, what’s ahead for Warnock in next 6 years?

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 12:52 PM EST
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ATLANTA - Now that Sen. Raphael Warnock has won reelection, what can we expect during his next term in office?

The pastor-turned-politician was elected two years ago to a partial term, filling out the remainder of appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s time in office.

After defeating Trump-recruited GOP challenger Herschel Walker on Tuesday in a runoff, Warnock will now move on to his first full six-year term.

“I want all of Georgia to know, whether you voted for me or not ... every single day, I am going to keep working for you,” he said after winning on Tuesday night. “I am proud of the bipartisan work that I’ve done and I intend to do more because I believe that at the end of the day, we are all Americans.”

Warnock notched a strong performance in and around the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta. Walker maintained his advantage in Republican-leaning rural areas, but in several of those counties, Warnock tightened the margin slightly from the general election in November.

“The work that we must do is difficult. The issues are not simple. They are complex. Here’s my promise to you: I will walk with you even as I work for you. Because here is what I’ve learned as a pastor. You can’t lead the people unless you love the people. You can’t love the people unless you know the people. You can’t know the people unless you walk among the people,” said Warnock.

The runoff was necessary because in the general election a month ago, neither Walker nor Warnock passed the 50%-plus-one-vote threshold needed to win the election outright. Third-party candidate Chase Oliver was the spoiler in that race.

Health care will continue to be a priority for Warnock, the senator told News 12.

He says he wants to cap the costs of insulin for people with private health insurance coverage.

Also, “I’m going to try to help Georgia to do what it should have done a long time ago expand Medicaid and get 600,000 Georgians, mostly working people, out of the health care coverage gap,” he said.

Additionally, “I’m going to keep fighting for jobs and opportunity across our state while standing up for our veterans time and time again, because they’re the best among us,” he said.

The aftermath for Walker

Walker, meanwhile, said running for Senate was the best thing he’s done in his life.

The onetime football star was endorsed by former President Donald Trump but avoided campaigning with him until the campaign’s final day: The pair conducted a conference call Monday with supporters, according to a Republican National Committee spokesperson.

Walker’s candidacy was the GOP’s last chance to flip a Senate seat this year. Dr. Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania, Blake Masters of Arizona, Adam Laxalt of Nevada, and Don Bolduc of New Hampshire, all Trump loyalists, already lost competitive Senate races that Republicans once considered part of their path to a majority.

Walker has differentiated himself from Trump in a notable way. Trump has spent two years falsely claiming that his loss in Georgia and nationally was fraudulent, despite the fact that numerous federal and local officials, a long list of courts, top former campaign staffers, and even his own attorney general have all said there is no evidence of the fraud he alleges.

At his lone debate against Warnock in October, Walker was asked whether he’d accept the results even if he lost. He replied with one word: “Yes.”