Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus

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Personal Background


7/23/69 (51)


African American/Black

Gender Identification





Separated, 2 children


B.A. in Psychology, Morehouse College; Master of Divinity, Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary


As a student in high school and college, Warnock acted as a peer counselor, sharing resources with other young people regarding sexual health. When Warnock was serving as pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore, he engaged his faith community around HIV/AIDS by sharing information with his congregants.

Political/Professional Background


Never held elected office


Warnock announced his candidacy for the special Senate election in January 2020. This was a jungle election, with multiple candidates running from each party, and the two leading vote-getters advancing to a runoff election, assuming no candidate received over 50% of the vote. Warnock received endorsements and support from prominent Democratic leaders such as presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former Presidents Obama and Carter, as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In the jungle election, Warnock ran against incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler had been appointed to the Senate seat to serve the remainder of Senator Johnny Isakson’s term, who had chosen to retire in the midst of his term. Loeffler was appointed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp in December 2019, being seated in January 2020. Both Warnock and Loeffler advanced to a runoff election scheduled for January 5, 2021. The other prominent candidates in this race were Democrat Matt Lieberman, the son of former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, and Republican Representative Doug Collins.


Kelly Loeffler (R), defeated in reelection bid


Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church


Warnock was arrested during a protest at the Georgia State Capitol in 2014 while taking part in a sit-in supporting Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. While he considered challenging incumbent Republican Senator Johnny Isakson in the 2016 election, Warnock ultimately decided not to run. From June 2017 to January 2020, Warnock chaired the New Georgia Project, an organization founded by former Georgia State House Minority Leader and 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, working to register voters and promote civic engagement and participation.

On The Issues


Warnock has “called for extending benefits and other protections until the pandemic is manageable,” and as a senator intends to, “Listen to the experts to take steps to get the coronavirus under control, including supporting robust testing, contact tracing, and basic preventive safety like the use of face masks.” During the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, a Black man shot in the back by an Atlanta police officer, Warnock “warned his masked audience about the dangers of the coronavirus and how it has ravaged people of color much more than others.” He also discussed what he said was “an equally lethal virus,” what he called “COVID-1619,” referencing the year in which “50 African persons disembarked in Jamestown and were enslaved by the settlers,” and “COVID-1620,” referencing the year in which the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, during which Native Americans helped the pilgrims through the winter, without the favor being returned in the long term.


Warnock intends to work to “support innovative solutions to expanding affordable health care access, like allowing access to a public option through early Medicare buy-in,” though he “understands how personal decisions of health care can be, which is why he will never support efforts that take private insurance from those that want to keep it.”


Warnock supports the decriminalization of marijuana and has received a B rating from NORML. Warnock’s brother, Keith, spent 22 years in prison after being sentenced to life in prison for a non-violent drug related crime in 1997. Keith was released from prison in 2020.


Warnock intends to work to “provide comprehensive access to ... mental health services.” When discussing law enforcement, Warnock has stated, “We also need to invest in resources for other services like better police training and mental health treatment, and first responders for interventions that don’t rely on police interactions.” At an interfaith service in Baltimore, Maryland in 2018, Warnock stated, “For 35 years we’ve had a war on drugs. Now, back then we were dealing with heroin, crack. Now we’re dealing with meth and opioids. It’s interesting to me that now we have a public health emergency. I’m glad we’ve become so enlightened now that the bodies are suburban, rural and white... I’m glad we’re taking this approach. I just want to know – as I think about the war on drugs that did as much devastation to places like Baltimore as the drugs themselves – I just want to know where is the restorative justice package for the inner cities like Baltimore that have been devastated by 35 years of this so-called war.”


Warnock intends to work to “support innovative solutions to expanding affordable health care access, like allowing access to a public option through early Medicare buy-in,” though he “understands how personal decisions of health care can be, which is why he will never support efforts that take private insurance from those that want to keep it.”


Warnock has stated that as a senator he “will stand up for men and women in the military and not just in their time of service but when they are Veterans,” saying that “the scars Veterans come back with are not just physical but mental,” and that “we need to make sure we take care of those who risk life and limb for our democracy.”


Warnock is pro-choice and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Warnock’s campaign website states that, “Since his time as a teen peer counselor in high school and his work with the Georgia Department of Health during college, Warnock has fought to increase safe and affordable access to contraceptives and achieve reproductive justice for women and families. While working with the State, he also helped author a statewide curriculum for uniform training for Georgia’s teen peer counselors.” As a senator, Warnock intends to work to: “Fight to protect access to quality, affordable reproductive health care; Support the Affordable Care Act’s preventive care protections for access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other life saving care; Push to root out the biases in our health care system that result in deadly inequalities, such as higher maternal mortality rates among Black women; Support judicial nominees that support a woman’s right to choose and uphold Roe v. Wade; and Oppose all partisan attacks defunding health care providers like Planned Parenthood.”


Warnock supports the expansion of Medicaid as well as increased support for both rural and urban hospitals.


Warnock serves as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the former congregation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Warnock is only the fifth individual to serve in this role since the church’s founding.