An Atlanta-area pastor and social justice advocate delivered a fiery sermon Sunday, calling for action from Georgians while critiquing Donald Trump-backed Herschel Walker, the GOP nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.
“Y’all ain’t ready for me today,” Jamal Bryant warned the congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch about 17 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta
“In 2022, we don’t need a walker, we need a runner,” Bryant said in the recorded sermon ahead of next week’s midterm election.
For the first time in the Peach State, two Black candidates – Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock – are vying for the same Senate seat.
“They thought we were so slow, that we were so stupid, that we would elect the lowest caricature of a stereotypical broken Black man as opposed to somebody who is educated and erudite and focused,” Bryant said from the pulpit as congregants cheered, clapped and nodded heads in the church’s pews.
Warnock won the 2020 special election to fill the remaining two years of the Senate seat. Now both candidates are running for a full six-year term.
“We need somebody who’s going to run and tell the truth about Jan. 6. We need someone who going to run and push for the cancellation of student loan debts,” Bryant continued. “We need someone who’s going to run and make the former president respond to a subpoena. We don’t need a walker. We need somebody who will be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding, knowing your labor is not in vain.”
OnPolitics: Get political news, fast and to the point, delivered to your inbox.
Walker, a Trump-backed former University of Georgia football star, has been hampered by a string of controversies, including allegations that he paid for his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion despite his anti-abortion position as a candidate.
During a debate last month, Walker called the report, which USA TODAY has not verified, “a flat-out lie.” Days later, The New York Times reported that Walker urged the woman to terminate a second pregnancy two years later.
Warnock was also on the defensive during the debate, as Walker painted him as not doing enough to tame high inflation and as a lackey for President Joe Biden, whose approval ratings in the state are low.
Trump granted temporary hold over taxes:Chief Justice Roberts grants Trump temporary hold in dispute over tax returns
A fight to control Congress
Democrats are in a crucial fight to maintain control of Congress. They hold slim majorities in the House, with only an eight-seat advantage, and even slimmer control in the 50-50 Senate.
A poll last month from Quinnipiac University found Warnock ahead of Walker 52%-45%, but most polling has shown a tighter race. A polling average by analysis site FiveThirtyEight has Warnock ahead by 3.7%.
Senate seats to watch:Midterm election races will determine who controls the Senate: Here are 8 to watch
A Warnock reelection would significantly help Democrats brush back a Republican takeover. The race is widely considered a toss-up
To win, Warnock must overcome Biden’s low approval ratings, stubborn inflation and fears of a looming recession to replicate support in Atlanta’s suburbs.
Contributing: Mabinty Quarshie and Joey Garrison.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
Story Credit: usatoday.com