'John Lewis is surely smiling down on his beloved Georgia this morning'
Former President Obama celebrated Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock’s (D) victory in Tuesday’s Senate runoff election, saying fellow Georgian "John Lewis is surely smiling down" on the Peach State. Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be the first Black senator from Georgia. He was projected to win his runoff election against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) early Wednesday morning.
The former president had hit the campaign trail for Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and he appeared in several campaign ads for Warnock.
Ossoff is currently leading in his race against Republican David Perdue, though the race has not yet been called.
“My friend John Lewis is surely smiling down on his beloved Georgia this morning, as people across the state carried forward the baton that he and so many others passed down to them,” Obama said in a statement posted to social media.
Multiple Democratic lawmakers also paid tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis (D), who died last summer, after Warnock was projected to win over Loeffler.
The former president, who gave a eulogy at the civil rights legend’s funeral, also thanked former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, whose efforts to register and turn outvoters is being credited with helping Democrats come within reach of winning both runoff races.
“I want to congratulate Reverend Raphael Warnock on his election as Georgia’s next U.S. Senator — and while were’ still waiting on final results in the other runoff, is clear that last night’s showing, alongside President-elect Biden’s November victory in Georgia, is a testament to the power of the tireless and often unheralded work of grassroots organizing and the resilient, visionary leadership of State Abrams,” Obama wrote.
He called on Americans to stay “engaged in civic life,” adding that continuing progress “depend on us vigilantly honoring the precious, sometimes fragile gift of the American experiment.”
“If we want to protect the gains we’ve made, achieve even more progress in the years to come, and reinforce the foundations of self-governance on which our country rests, there’s no better to follow than the one forged by the determined, organized, and confidently hopeful people of Georgia,” he continued.
The US House of Representatives voted on May 19th to create an independent commission to investigate the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6th. Members voted 252 in favor of, and 175 against, the commission, which was inspired in part by a similar body that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every Democratic member voted in favor of the bill.
Four former secretaries of Homeland Security on Thursday urged the Senate to approve an independent commission to investigate the Capitol riots of Jan. 6 as Republicans appear poised to block the creation of such a panel.
For much of Donald Trump’s presidency, Barack Obama largely abided by the convention that former presidents do not publicly criticize or attack their successors. Obama jettisoned any such caution during the 2020 election that put his own vice-president, Joe Biden, in the White House. But behind the scenes, with donors and advisers, Obama was reportedly much more candid.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, earning relatively little support from Republicans as GOP leaders sought to quash a bill negotiated by one of their own members. Lawmakers passed the bill in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.