Warnock raises $9.5M over 3 months in bid to defend Senate seat

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock raised more than $9.5 million during the latest fundraising quarter, an enormous sum that highlights the extensive fundraising infrastructure the Democrat has built for a re-election bid that will help decide control of the Senate.

Warnock ended the quarter with more than $17.2 million in cash on hand, more than any Georgia U.S. Senate campaign has reported at this stage in the election cycle. He collected contributions from more than 145,000 donors during the reporting period, which spans from July to September, said campaign manager Quentin Fulks.

Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, has expanded the sprawling donor list he amassed during last year’s campaign to fill the remaining two years of retired Republican Johnny Isakson’s term. He’s emerged as a fundraising juggernaut who can attract small-dollar donors – his average contribution was $37 – along with checks from the deep-pocketed elite.

His fundraising ability will continue to be put to the test as Warnock, who ousted incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler in a special election, seeks a full six-year term in November 2022.

Warnock’s cash haul puts him far ahead of his nearest Republican rival. Former football standout Herschel Walker raised $3.7 million in the five weeks since launching his campaign, thanks in part to his high name recognition and the blessing of former President Donald Trump that drew many GOP donors off the sidelines.

Walker’s best-known GOP competitor, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, has yet to report his latest fundraising figures. Two lower profile Senate Republican candidates published their results earlier in the day.

Latham Saddler, a Navy SEAL and former Trump administration official, continued his surprising fundraising power by raising $1.1 million over the last three months. Overall, he’s amassed roughly $2.5 million.

And military veteran Kelvin King raised about $340,000 over the three-month period, which spanned July to September, and ended with $450,000 in cash on hand and $300,000 in debt.

Warnock is among the most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents in the battle for control of the chamber. Democrats are hoping to bolster their fragile 50-50 majority, and Warnock led the way in fundraising among swing-state incumbents in the last quarter.

He’s so far outpacing other Senate Democrats in competitive races, including U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, who raised $8 million in the last quarter and has $13 million in the bank.