Ebenezer Baptist’s Rev. Raphael Warnock enters Georgia Senate race

ATLANTA — The field of candidates running for Johnny Isakson’s former Senate seat got more crowded.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church announced Thursday he’s running as a Democrat for that seat.

Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot has known for weeks that Warnock was considering a run and spoke to him shortly after he made the announcement Thursday morning.

“I have always been committed to service. We’ve been engaged in a number of issues, and the kinds of issues we get to address as a member of the United States Senate,” Warnock said.

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Some of those issues include health care.

“This makes a lot of sense for me, and I’m looking forward to working really hard in earning the vote of every Georgian,” Warnock said.

On Tuesday, Elliot followed Republican Rep. Doug Collins around the Capitol hoping to get an announcement about his run for Isakson’s seat. That didn’t come until a day later when he appeared on Fox and Friends to make his announcement to run.

Collins and Warnock will run against current Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who Gov. Brian Kemp appointed to Isakson’s seat after he resigned at the end of December.

Loeffler told Elliot shortly after she was appointed that she’s committed to holding on to the seat.

Right now, they’ll all face off in a free-for-all primary in November, unless a bill passes the State House creating party primaries.

That bill suffered a setback Thursday morning.

Warnock told Elliot that he’s not concentrating on that or on his opponents, at least not yet. He said he’s focused on the people.

“I’m going to stay focused on that. I’m not really focused on who I’ll be running against. I’m focused on who I’m running for,” Warnock said.

There are also two other Democrats in the race.

Warnock said he plans to continue preaching at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

That could complicate things down the road as anything considered as campaigning from the pulpit could jeopardize Ebenezer’s tax-exempt status.