#WVotes2021: Rev. Raphael Warnock declared winner in Georgia Senate runoff over Kelly Loeffler, Ossoff defeats Perdue

Photo Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate tenure of Atlanta Dream co-owner looks as if it will only last one year – without winning an election.

As Georgia went to the polls and then the votes were tallied (much quicker than in November), everyone saw that the Peach State was not shedding its newfound light blue dress after donning a red top for so many years.

Reverend Raphael Warnock, who opposed Kelly Loeffler for her Senate seat – and became the focus of support from many WNBA players since the bubble – was declared the victor over Loeffler.

Warnock’s victory makes him the first Black Democrat to earn election to the United States senate from the Southeast. He is also the first African-American to hold a Senate office from Georgia.

Prior to the election, there was plenty of concern that there may be significant voter drop off between November’s election – one in which Joe Biden and Kamala Harris also won Georgia. There was drop off … but that drop off appears more stark on the Loeffler side than that of Warnock side.

While Stacey Abrams (WNBPA Board of Advocates member Stacey Abrams) and local Black organizers in Georgia are definitely deserving of their flowers for delivering this result, one cannot overlook the influence of WNBA players on flipping Loeffler’s seat.

Warnock was polling in single digits prior to Loeffler making incendiary comments ranging from open carry by Black Americans to criticizing the WNBA’s plan to spread the Black Lives Matter message and honor the memory of the late Breonna Taylor. She was the first responder who was killed by Louisville police in her apartment.

WNBA players responded with “Vote Warnock” t-shirts at the Wubble. Since then, Warnock’s profile around the country (and his fundraising) increased. A Washington Post analysis even noted the WNBA’s impact on the race.

Warnock won the most votes in the November election, but no candidate got 50%, meaning his race with Loeffler went to a runoff.

The Warnock-Loeffler race was not the only Georgia Senate race that was on the January ballot. The other Georgia Senate race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue was called for Ossoff amidst the rioting that occurred in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the race officially being called for the 33-year old Democrat, Ossoff released this.

Ossoff’s election means he gets elected to a six-year term. Yet Warnock will run again in 2022 (to determine if he gets a rull six-year term) in a race where he should get a boost from a possible Abrams run for Georgia governor.

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