Former President Barack Obama commended the Rev. Raphael Warnock on Wednesday for winning election as the first Black senator from Georgia, casting Mr. Warnock’s historic victory as an example of why civic engagement — an issue Mr. Obama has long championed — matters.
“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,” Mr. Obama wrote in a statement, referring to the Democratic congressman and civil rights activist who died in August.
That President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won Georgia in November and that Democrats are poised to take both of the state’s Senate seats “is a testament to the power of the tireless and often unheralded work of grassroots organizing,” Obama wrote, “and the resilient, visionary leadership of Stacey Abrams.” Ms. Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia state House, spent 10 years working to expand the Democratic electorate.
“Democrats in Georgia and across the country should feel good today,” Mr. Obama wrote. “But the past four years show us that even outside of election season — and outside of races that garner national attention — we’ve got to remain engaged in civic life.”
And Mr. Obama seemed to indirectly refer to Wednesday’s events in Congress, where some Republicans, under the encouragement of President Trump, have objected to certifying Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“In recent years, our institutions, our democracy, and truth itself have been greatly tested by those who’ve chosen to prioritize personal gain or political ambition over our democratic principles,” Mr. Obama wrote. “And even a good election will not eliminate those threats.”