Not so long ago, Savannahians celebrated the rise of one of our native sons from “the projects to the pulpit.”
Now, the man who grew up in Kayton Homes and attended Johnson High School is aspiring to Capitol Hill.
Raphael Warnock launched a U.S. Senate campaign Thursday, Jan. 30, entering the race for the seat currently held by an appointee, Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Warnock lives in Atlanta, where he is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same Ebenezer once led by Martin Luther King Jr.
In his hometown, Warnock is better identified as the pentecostal preacher’s son whose mother still calls Savannah home. The boy who shared a four-bedroom apartment with as many as 10 of his family members. The man who followed in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr, by getting his education at Morehouse College, leading the church King and his father made famous, and establishing himself as an influential voice on social justice and human rights issues.
Warnock’s announcement came, coincidentally enough, on Savannah-Chatham Day at the Georgia Capitol. Warnock’s candidacy would have been the buzz of the gold dome regardless, but with several hundred Savannahians on site, talk of Warnock’s bid echoed through the marble halls.
“He’s not just a Savannah boy but a man who is in touch with the least of us,” said State Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), whose mother taught Warnock at Johnson. “He comes from a stable upbringing and understands working-class people and those from a poor environment.”
Warnock’s local roots will be good for Savannah should he win the Senate seat, Mayor Van Johnson said.
“It’s a good thing to have someone who knows you to represent you on this stage,” Johnson said. “He’s not one to forget where he came from.”
Savannah should be proud to have a native son running for one of our country’s highest offices.