‘We won together.’ Georgia’s Raphael Warnock defeats Herschel Walker in Senate runoff

In a victory speech in Atlanta, Sen. Raphael Warnock told supporters “We won together.”

“And on this night, where after being on the ballot 5 times in the last two years — for the same job I might add — I have been entrusted with a six-year term to serve in the Senate, I cannot express how thankful I am to you, the people of Georgia,” Warnock said.” I am deeply honored to be on this journey with you.

It’s an overwhelming statement for your neighbors to say we want you to represent us and our families in high office. And it’s something that inspires me every day.”

AP calls race for Warnock

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election night watch party, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Atlanta. Sen. Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election night watch party, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Atlanta. Sen. Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Associated Press has called the Senate runoff election for Sen. Raphael Warnock.

While votes are still being tallied, Warnock’s lead over Republican challenger Herschel Walker has grown to more than 35,000 with 10 counties yet to completely report their votes.

Bibb County vote totals

The final vote tally for Bibb County has been reported.

Almost 50,000 of the county’s 105,707 registered voters cast a ballot in today’s election. Of that total, 30,744 voted for Warnock and 18,318 for Walker.

Desmond Brown won runoff for Macon Water Authority District 2 over Lindsay Holliday. Brown reclaims a seat he gave up during a failed MWA chairman bid earlier this year. — 10:10 p.m. update

Columbus goes for Warnock

The final vote tallies for Muscogee County are in.

Almost 55,000 of the county’s 120,970 votes cast ballots in today’s election. Of those, 35,462 vote for Raphael Warnock and 19,432 voted for Herschel Walker.

Across the state, Warnock has 50.27% of the vote to Walker’s 49.73%. Almost 3 million ballots have been counted. — 9:45 p.m.

More than 2.5 million ballots counted

Walker and Warnock are separated by less than 1% with more than 2.5 million votes counted. Warnock has a slight margin over Walker: 1,281,507 votes to 1,270,286. Out of the 2,711 precincts in Georgia, 1,260 have reported. — 9:15 p.m. update

Brown with lead over Holliday

Early voting results continue to filter in from throughout the state. Warnock maintains a slim lead over Walker (922,449 votes to 818,516).

In Macon, Desmond Brown is leading Lindsay Holliday for Macon Water Authority District 2: 2,681 votes to 1,921 (58.26% to 41.74%).

In Columbus, just over 70% of votes reported so far were cast for Warnock (27,125 to 11,613). — 8:30 p.m.

Warnock takes early lead

More than 800,000 votes have been reported by the Georgia Secretary of State, and Raphael Warnock has an early lead over Herschel Walker: 484,025 votes to 339,883 (58.75% to 41.25%).

Only 24 of more than 2,700 precincts have reported. — 7:45 p.m.

Polls close across state

Polls have now closed across the state, although voters still in line will be able to cast their ballots.

Early voting totals are typically released shortly after polling places close, although recent changes to Georgia voting laws mean election boards sometimes take several hours to release results.

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would monitor polling places in four Georgia counties for compliance with federal election laws: Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County and Macon-Bibb County. Monitors included personnel from the Civil Rights Division and from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the Civil Rights Division has regularly monitored elections in the field in jurisdictions around the country to protect the rights of voters,” read a DOJ press release. “The Civil Rights Division enforces the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot.” — 7 p.m.

Georgians head to the polls

This combination of photos shows, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021, left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaking in Perry, Ga., Sept. 25, 2021. Walker is in a runoff election with incumbent Warnock.  (AP Photo)
This combination of photos shows, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021, left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaking in Perry, Ga., Sept. 25, 2021. Walker is in a runoff election with incumbent Warnock. (AP Photo)

A month after Georgia’s two U.S. Senate candidates battled to an almost even draw, voters across the Peach State once again went to the polls. This time, only one man can win: either incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, or Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

It’s the second runoff election in two years for Warnock, who defeated Kelly Loeffler in a 2020 special election to finish the final two years of Sen. Johnny Isakson’s last term.

In November, Warnock received 1,941,275 votes (49.4% of the vote) to Walker’s 1,906,192 (48.5%). Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver, despite receiving a paltry 81,173 votes, managed to play the spoiler because of how evenly split the major party candidates were.

Did either candidate make significant headway in the past month? Tuesday night should bring that answer. Polls close at 7 p..m., and early voting tallies should be available by 8 p.m. in many Georgia counties.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker greets supporters during a campaign stop at the Governors Gun Club in Kennesaw, Ga., on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker greets supporters during a campaign stop at the Governors Gun Club in Kennesaw, Ga., on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock poses with supporters during an election day canvass launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Norcross, Ga. Sen. Warnock is running against Republican candidate Herschel Walker in a runoff election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock poses with supporters during an election day canvass launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Norcross, Ga. Sen. Warnock is running against Republican candidate Herschel Walker in a runoff election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)