Warnock off to a fast fundraising start for 2022 Senate re-election race

Rev. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia

Rev. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock has hardly slowed his torrid fundraising pace since his narrow January runoff victory.

The Democrat’s campaign said Thursday he raised more than $5.7 million from more than 101,000 supporters between Jan. 6 and March 31 – totaling what Warnock’s aides say is the highest off-year fundraising quarter in Georgia history. He ends the quarter with $5.6 million in the bank.

Just months after defeating former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Warnock is already preparing for a 2022 campaign for a full six-year term. Two Republicans quickly announced challenges – military veterans Kelvin King and Latham Saddler – and other prominent GOP figures are weighing a run.

Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, was a first-time candidate when he announced his special election campaign to fill the remaining two years on retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.

He raised nearly $150 million in his successful bid to oust Loeffler, a massive fundraising haul that trailed only fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff, the other half of the Democratic Senate sweep. The unprecedented totals were due largely to the fact that their contests decided control of the chamber.

While Ossoff won’t face voters again until 2026, Warnock is already preparing for a competitive 2022 race against Republicans hungry to retake the seat. And Warnock’s latest haul will send a message to potential GOP candidates about the expensive campaign they face.

The federal report he’s set to file Thursday will show Warnock raised more than $4.5 million between Jan. 26 and March 31, though his campaign said he also collected roughly $1.2 million between Jan. 6 and Jan. 25 that isn’t reflected in Thursday’s filing.

“In just a few short months, Senator Reverend Warnock has proven he delivers for Georgia and quickly passed coronavirus relief that included stimulus checks, relief for small businesses and resources for communities hit hardest by this pandemic,” his campaign said.