Raphael Warnock, 53, is the junior US Senator from Georgia and a minister by profession. The Democrat has won against the Republican Herschel Walker to retain his seat in the US Senate, thus securing Democratic control in the same. It is the second time Warnock is witnessing a runoff election. Earlier, in 2020, when he ran his office for the first time, Warnock defeated then-incumbent Republican, Kelly Loeffler.
Here’s everything about the US Senator, including his early life and net worth.
Raphael Warnock’s Early Life
Raphael Warnock was born on the 23rd of July, 1969, in Savannah, Georgia, as the eleventh of twelve children to his parents, Verlene and Jonathan Warnock. His father served in the US Military during the Second World War.
He attended Sol C. Johnson High School and earned a BA in psychology from Morehouse College. Afterward, he also educated himself in the Master of Divinity, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary, a school affiliated with Columbia University.
Raphael Warnock’s Professional Life
Warnock began his career as a pastor in 1990. At that time, he served as the youth pastor, later becoming an assistant pastor at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. In 2005, he became the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Georgia. With that role, he turned out to become the fifth as well as the youngest person to serve as a senior pastor since the founding of the church.
When Warnock was a pastor, he advocated for clemency for Troy Davis. In 2011, he even gave the benediction at the public prayer service at the second inauguration of Barack Obama. Soon, after his interest in politics developed and he also set off to begin his political career.
Warnock developed an interest in politics out of his promise to expand Medicaid in the state. In 2013, he led a sit-in at the Georgia State Capital to press state legislators to accept the expansion of Medicaid offered by the Affordable Care Act. After two years, he thought of running in the 2016 US Senate election against Johnny Isakson; however, that thought didn’t get materialized back then.
Finally, in 2020, Warnock decided to run in the 2020 US Senate election against Kelly Loeffler. During that time, he received endorsements from many democratic leaders such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Chris Murphy, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. He even received the support of the former presidents of the United States of America – Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. It seemed like victory was written for him, and he defeated his competitor in the run-off election.
Raphael Warnock’s Personal Life
The Senator married Oyleye Ndoye in a public ceremony on the 14th of February 2016. Together, they have two children. But the marriage couldn’t work for a longer time, and the couple separated after three years, in 2019. Their divorce was finalized in 2020.
What is Raphael Warnock’s Net Worth?
Thanks to his career as a pastor and politician, Raphael Warnock owns a handsome net worth. According to a few reports, the Senator’s net worth ranged to be from $500,000 to $900,000, respectively. His estimated annual salary is $174,000.
Warnock Took a Solid Stance on Gun Laws and Abortion
Raphael Warnock has been extremely vocal about his views on gun laws and abortion. Many a time, he has criticized Georgia’s gun laws which resulted in him getting an F from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fun. In a sermon in 2014, Warnock stated,
“Somebody decided that they had the bright idea to pass a piece of legislation that would allow guns and concealed weapons to be carried in the churches. Have you ever been to a church meeting? Whoever thought of that had never been to a church meeting.”
He even criticized the overturning of the Roe vs. Wade legislation and called him a pro-choice pastor. In 2020 when 25 Black ministers wrote to him saying his stance on abortion was contrary to Christian teachings. In his 2020 midterm campaign, a statement was released. It stated,
“Warnock believes a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor, and the US government and that these are deeply personal health care decisions, not political ones.”
Warnock’s Win for the Second Time
With Warnock’s second run-off victory in as many years, the Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining a seat from the current 50-50 split with John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania. However, there will be a divided government, with Republicans having narrowly flipped House control.
In the last elections, Warnock led Walker by a whopping 37,000 votes out of almost 4 million casts; however, fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. The victory of Democrats in Georgia solidifies the state’s place as a Deep South battleground two years after Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff won 2021 runoffs that gave the party Senate control just months after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate in 30 years to win Georgia. The voters returned Warnock to the Senate in the same cycle they re-elected Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by a comfortable margin.
This outright majority of the Democrats in the Senate highlights that the party will no longer have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans and wouldn’t have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to break as many tie votes.