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Raphael Warnock declares victory against Herschel Walker in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff
Warnock Runoff 2022
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election day canvass launch on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Norcross, Ga. Sen. Warnock ran against Republican candidate Herschel Walker in a runoff election.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. and pastor Raphael Warnock is projected to win re-election to the U.S. Senate after beating Republican and former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia’s Dec. 6 runoff.

This story continues below.

Warnock has gotten a projected 51.35% of the vote, while Walker has thus far gotten 48.65%, according to updated statewide results as of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

The Democratic incumbent’s presumed victory gives his political party a 51-49 edge in the Senate.

More than 3.5 million Georgians cast ballots in the race, with a projected 1.8 million-plus voting for Warnock and over 1.7 million voting for Walker. 

Warnock was first elected to the U.S. Senate during a January 2021 runoff. This 2022 runoff will mark his election to his first full six-year term. 

In Dawson County, an unofficial Board of Elections and Registration summary report shows Walker received a projected 82.88% of the local vote over Warnock’s 17.12%. Of the 12,250 total projected votes, that’s an estimated 10,153 cast for Walker compared to 2,097 cast for Warnock. 

Locally, 4,577 people voted for their candidate of choice in person on Election Day, while 7,122 others cast ballots early in person. 

Five hundred and fifty-one people voted via absentee ballots. There are 15 provisional ballots, BOER Director Glenda Ferguson said on Dec. 7. 

Dawson County’s turnout for early and absentee voting combined in the runoff dipped to 34.43% from the 44.2% seen in November. There were also other factors like the shorter timeline to request an absentee ballot and only one week, not including Saturday, to vote early in person. 

However, almost twice as many Dawson County people voted each day of the senatorial runoff 

as compared to daily averages during the November election’s advance voting.

Shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Warnock addressed supporters, saying voting was “faith put into action” and mentioning his mother, who attended his victory speech. 

“She grew up in the 1950s in Waycross, Ga., picking somebody else’s cotton and somebody else’s tobacco,” Warnock said. “But tonight she helped pick her youngest son to be a United States senator.”

During his concession speech, Walker thanked his supporters and acknowledged the voting numbers “didn't add up” to a Republican win. 

“One of the things I want to tell all of you is you never stop dreaming. I don’t want any of you to stop dreaming. I don't want any of you to stop believing in America,” Walker said. “I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the Constitution and our elected officials most of all.”