Raphael Warnock will be Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator, only 1 of 11 ever

ATLANTA — With Raphael Warnock’s win in the U.S. Senate runoff, he now becomes Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator.

ABC News projected that Warnock would win the seat early Wednesday morning.

Warnock now joins just 10 other Black men and women to become senators, including former President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

[READ: Raphael Warnock defeats Kelly Loeffler to become senator, ABC projects]

He is only the second Black senator elected from the south since Reconstruction.

In Tuesday’s election, Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by former Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned from the post over health reasons last year.

Warnock will now serve out the rest of Isakson’s term, which ends in three years.

[Live Updates: Warnock projected winner, Ossoff/Perdue too close to call]

“I come before you tonight as a man that knows that the improbable journey that led me to this place and this historic moment in America that can only happen here,” Warnock said in video statement earlier in the evening. “We were told that we couldn’t win this election. But tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

For the last 15 years, Warnock has served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church once led by Martin Luther King Jr.

He is the youngest pastor to serve in that leadership role at the historic church.

Warnock said he will return to Atlanta each weekend while Congress is in session to continue preaching at the church.

[EXPLAINER: Georgia’s role in balance of power for U.S. Senate]

“My run the for the U.S. Senate is not a disconnect. It’s a continuation of the work I’ve done at that church for years. I intend to return home every weekend and preach to the people of my congregation,” Warnock said.

Warnock’s seat has been previously held by Democrat Zell Miller, Republican Paul Coverdell and Democrat Herman Talmadge.

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