Reverend Raphael Warnock Kicks Off Runoff Election in Atlanta: “This Race Is About Competence And It's About Character” - Warnock for Georgia

Reverend Raphael Warnock Kicks Off Runoff Election in Atlanta: “This Race Is About Competence And It’s About Character”

November 11, 2022 
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Reverend Raphael Warnock Kicks Off Runoff Election in Atlanta: “This Race Is About Competence And It’s About Character”

Atlanta, GA — Yesterday, Reverend Warnock kicked off his runoff campaign in Atlanta flanked by supporters. Reverend Warnock was introduced by Morehouse student, RJ Jackson and diabetes advocate, Renee Rayles.

Watch Reverend Warnock’s Full Remarks HERE

CBS News: Warnock launches runoff campaign, vowing to take care of “unfinished business”

  • Warnock launched his campaign for the Dec. 6 runoff at an event in Atlanta on Thursday, saying he and his supporters have “some unfinished business” to attend to. 
  • “I came to ask you one question — are you ready to do this one more time?” Warnock asked the crowd. “I did warn y’all we might be spending Thanksgiving together, and here we are.”
  • Warnock won election after emerging victorious from a runoff in 2021 in his first run for the Senate. He said his race against Walker is “about competence and character,” and said his opponent “has no vision for our state or our country.”
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Watch Fox 5 Atlanta’s Coverage HERE

Reverend Warnock: I really came to ask you one question. Are you ready to do this one more time? 

Deidra Dukes, Fox 5: Senator Raphael Warnock kicked off the second leg of his campaign in downtown Atlanta Thursday, telling voters they have unfinished business. He asked them to stick with him for four more weeks. 

Reverend Warnock: I need you to fight like the future of Georgia and the future of America depends on it because it does. Are you all ready to fight? Are you ready to get this done? […] This race is about competence and it’s about character and when it comes to that, the choice could not be more clear between me and Herschel Walker. 

Deidra Dukes, Fox 5: Warnock blasted his Republican opponent, saying Walker is not ready for the job and has no vision for the state or country. The Senator had this message for Georgia voters. 

Reverend Warnock: And for those who gave me their support in this election, thank you. And for those of you who made a different choice this time, whether for Herschel Walker or someone else, I want to speak directly to you. Over the next four weeks, I hope you will give me the opportunity to earn your vote. Every day I’ve served in the Senate I have been thinking about the people of Georgia and that’s what I will do for the next six years.

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Watch Atlanta News First’s Coverage HERE

Adam Murphy, Atlanta News First: Senator Warnock stood with several supporters here in downtown Atlanta, including Congresswoman Nikema Williams and Congressman Hank Johnson. He just asked everyone to stick around for a few more weeks and continue to pound the pavement. He touted his accomplishments during his two years in office. He specifically mentioned how he kept the cost of insulin for seniors to $35 a month. Now, he also took jabs at his opponent Herschel Walker, saying that he has shown that he is unqualified for a job that requires knowledge of the issues, and above all, honesty. 

Reverend Warnock: So, here’s what this race is about Georgia. It’s about competence and it’s about character. It’s about both of those things. We need to be clear, this is not simply about passing this law or passing that law, and it’s certainly not about the process of Washington, D.C. This is about who we are as Georgians. And Georgians understand the importance of competence and character. 

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Watch CNN’s Coverage HERE 

Nick Valencia, CNN: It was earlier today that incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock kicked off things just about a block or so away from his church, Ebenezer Baptist. And he has painted this previously, this choice between Herschel Walker and himself, as not so much a choice between a Republican and a Democrat as much as it is a moral choice between right and wrong. It was earlier today, standing in front of a mural of famed civil-rights icon, John Lewis, that he appeared to make a plea to those voters who may not have voted for him in the midterms.

Reverend Warnock: I’m going to need you to stick with me for four more weeks. Can we do that? They are going to throw every dollar at us that they can, every lie, every attack, but I think we have something better. We have the truth, and we have hope for the future.

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Watch MSNBC’s Coverage HERE

Chris Jansing, MSNBC: Senator Warnock is speaking right now, so let us listen.

Reverend Warnock: Are you ready to do this one more time? Let’s get it done. Now, you have to admit that I did warn y’all that we might be spending Thanksgiving together and here we are. So I’m going to need you to stick with me for four more weeks. Can we do that? Because we have got some unfinished business. I stand here as a proud son of Savannah, Georgia and as a proud American. And I wouldn’t be here without Verlene and Jonathan Warnock, my mom and my dad, both pastors themselves and lifetime Georgians. They poured into me the values of faith and love and hard work. Those values of faith and love and hard work guide me to this very day, and that’s what’s guided me through a life of service, it’s what’s guided me as a pastor and a United States Senator, and I know it’s going to take a combination of faith, love, and hard work to push us through the next four weeks. 

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Watch WJBF Augusta’s Coverage HERE

Brad Means, WJBF: The candidates in that contest, Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, back on the campaign trail wasting no time to generate support for that big day. As they prepare to be on the ballot again in just a few short weeks, Warnock is holding a rally in Atlanta today. 

Reverend Warnock: This is not a race about Democrat and Republican. It is not a race about right versus the left. Fundamentally, this is a race about right over wrong, and who is right for Georgia and who is clearly wrong for Georgia.

New York Times: Midterms Live Updates: Control of Congress Hinges on Uncalled Races

  • Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia opened his runoff campaign on Thursday by speaking to supporters in front of a mural depicting the late Representative John Lewis in Atlanta. Warnock, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have less than a month to rally support before the Dec. 6 runoff.

NBC News: Warnock campaign lays out strategy for Georgia Senate runoff, calling Walker ‘completely unqualified’

  • Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s campaign laid out its strategy for what is shaping up to be an expensive runoff in Georgia for his seat on Dec. 6, projecting confidence about victory in a memo Thursday.
  • “Reverend Warnock will win the runoff by continuing the strategic investments in paid communication and field organizing, continuing to hold the diverse coalition that has driven Reverend Warnock’s success, and emphasizing that this race is about who is able to represent our state,” Warnock campaign manager Quentin Fulks wrote.
  • “We are confident we will win on December 6th.” And Fulks, labeling Warnock a “proven vote-getter,” noted that Walker underperformed Trump’s 2020 vote share in urban and suburban counties, which played a crucial role in enabling Democrats to win that year in the former Republican stronghold.
  • While Warnock has matched or exceeded his own 2021 runoff margins in Atlanta-area counties, Walker has stayed in the race by expanding Republican margins in the conservative rural counties that are trended even further in the GOP’s direction.
  • Warnock is kicking off his campaigning for the runoff Thursday afternoon with an event in Atlanta, his campaign said.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: How Warnock became the last Democrat standing in Georgia’s top 2022 races

  • Across the nation, many wondered how U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock was dragged into a runoff despite Republican Herschel Walker’s personal baggage and troubles on the campaign trail. But the more telling question might be how Warnock avoided an outright defeat on Tuesday even as every other statewide Democratic candidate wiped out.
  • Warnock and Walker will square off in a nationally watched Dec. 6 runoff that will once again test each campaign’s stamina, fundraising chops and get-out-the-vote machines — along with the endurance of exhausted Georgia voters. Depending on how other tight races shake out, the runoff could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
  • “At the end of the day, we knew if we made this a character conversation — with the reverend versus the running back — we’d have a fair chance,” said Quentin Fulks, Warnock’s campaign manager.
  • That strategy was clear at campaign stops and in media interviews where he focused on his bipartisan work — an interstate highway project with Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was a favorite example — and skirted mention of Biden.
  • It was part of a concerted effort by Warnock to peel off swing voters who were wary of Walker. And Tuesday’s results indicated that swing-ticket effect was a decisive factor in the November ballot. Warnock outpolled Abrams by about 3 percentage points — the difference between a runoff and an outright defeat.
  • “It’s a testament to the strength of his personal appeal and record,” said Fred Hicks, a Democratic strategist who also pointed to GOP victories by Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
  • “The one consistent point,” Hicks said, “is that Georgia rewarded people who performed over personality-driven campaigns.”
  • On the same February day Warnock’s first TV ad of the 2022 cycle debuted, his campaign also launched its voter mobilization program — something many candidates wait to begin until weeks before an election. But with a fundraising edge of roughly $70 million over Walker, the Democrat could afford to innovate.
  • The operation specifically reached out to cord-cutters who canceled their cable subscriptions by spending nearly $6 million on YouTube ads — more than twice as much as any other Senate contender.
  • The campaign also pumped more money into Snapchat ads than any other Senate candidate. And it created an augmented reality filter to show voters what they’d look like wearing a Vote Warnock shirt. In all, the campaign promoted 500 unique digital ads, each in multiple optimized formats.
  • Meanwhile, canvassers knocked on 2.3 million doors and logged at least 8.3 million phone calls to voters to support his candidacy. The campaign’s volunteer program completed nearly 20,000 shifts.
  • Warnock and his allies are working to rev up the machinery again, leaning into his argument that he’s a unique candidate who can withstand electoral headwinds that sent other Democrats into a tailspin.
  • “We’re confident people are looking at the person — not the party,” Fulks said.