As the midterm elections approach, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) — who just won his seat this past January but will have to run again in 2022 in order to secure a new six-year term — has reported a record-breaking fundraising haul for the first quarter of 2021. Across those first three months of the year, Warnock raised over $5.7 million via donations from individuals and cash inflows from other political committees. According to aides for the Georgia Senator, this amount is the highest single-quarter fundraising total ever recorded in Georgia during an off-year without statewide elections.
Sen. Warnock is off to a fast fundraising start for his re-election race:
He raised more than $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 – totaling what Warnock aides say is the highest off-year fundraising quarter in Georgia history. https://t.co/y5rzTYCmRm
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 16, 2021
Warnock also reported a record-breaking fundraising haul ahead of his initial election to the Senate. From October 15 to December 16, Warnock brought in a staggering total of over $103 million. His fellow Democratic contender for Senate in Georgia, Jon Ossoff, raised $106.8 million during that same late 2020 period. Ossoff also won his election and became Georgia’s other Senator, handing control of the Senate to Democrats for now.
At present, the Senate is split 50-50, and Democrats have control only because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s role as a tiebreaker. Warnock originally won his Senate seat by a comparatively slim margin — but he did win, so it’s not as though he isn’t a formidable candidate. Warnock has to run again so soon because his victory was in a special election for the last two years of the final term of Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican who Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp originally appointed Kelly Loeffler — who Warnock defeated — to replace.
Similarly, first-term Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly also has to run for re-election in 2022 after winning election to serve for final last two years of the last term of the late Sen. John McCain. Kelly’s original margin of victory, however, was slightly larger than the margin by which Warnock won. Elsewhere in the country, Democrats have possible Senate seat pick-ups in states including Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where Republican incumbents who would be on the ballot in 2022 have already announced their retirement. In Pennsylvania, the state’s other Senator is already a Democrat, and Biden won the state in November, so Democratic changes seem good.