ATLANTA -- The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, said that his projected victory in one of Georgia's dual U.S. Senate runoffs is a "historic moment," adding that he "can't wait" to be in the upper chamber of Congress "to represent the concerns of ordinary people."
"I'm deeply honored that the people of Georgia decided to place their faith in me and have decided to send me to represent their interests in Washington, D.C.," Warnock told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on "Good Morning America."
"Certainly this is a historic moment and I'm just deeply grateful to be a vessel in a moment in which we're facing such large problems in our country, and I can't wait to get to the U.S. Senate to represent the concerns of ordinary people," he added.
Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, ABC News projected that Warnock will prevail over incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat by Gov. Brian Kemp in December 2019 to serve when Sen. Johnny Isakson retired until a special election was held to determine who would serve until his term ends in Jan. 2023.
Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the former pulpit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is the first Black senator Georgia has elected and only the 11th Black senator elected in the country's history.
"Georgia is in such an incredible place when you think about the arc of our history, we are sending an African-American pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church where Martin Luther King Jr. served," he said. "This is the reversal of the old southern strategy that sought to divide people. In this moment we've got to bring people together in order to do the hard work and I look forward to doing that."
His win is also history-defying because it marks the first time a Democrat has won a statewide runoff election in Georgia in 30 years. Stephanopoulos asked Warnock what impact he thought President Donald Trump's constant questioning of the general election results and rhetoric that it was "rigged" had on his runoff campaign.