Georgia U.S. Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock, who was just elected to his position in January, already has his first Republican challenger in the 2022 midterm elections, which are gearing up to be a political battlefield after the GOP took such heavy losses in the 2020 vote.
Black Republican Kelvin King, an ardent supporter of former president Donald Trump, and owner of an Atlanta-area construction company, announced his candidacy on Monday, saying Warnock has given “divisive far left representation,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He said that Georgia will be a major front in gaining back U.S. Senate seats from the Democrats, which became the majority when Warnock and Jon Ossoff were elected.
“Career politicians, woke corporations, and the cancel culture are all empowered while our families and small businesses are left to pay the price,” King said. “As the GOP, we have to decide right now if we are knocked down or knocked out.”
In his campaign annoucement video, King hints about why he’s deciding to launch his candidacy so early. “I know what you’re thinking. Republican? In Georgia? Didn’t they just elect two liberal senators,” King said. “Yep, which is why we have to get to work.”
The announcement comes weeks after Georgia state legislators passed Senate Bill 202, which critics have strongly attacked as an effort to limit voting rights in the state. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law last month.
King is one of a group of Republicans targeting Warnock’s seat for a full six-year term. The AJC says others including Latham Saddler, a former White House fellow, filed paperwork for candidacy; Doug Collins, but lost in 2020; former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who also lost to Warnock in the January runoff; and possibly Georgia state attorney general Chris Carr. Trump is also encouraging Herschel Walker, another longtime supporter, to run for Warnock’s senate seat.