Democrat Raphael Warnock, running for the U.S. Senate and headed to a January runoff against Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia, is bracing himself for an onslaught of attack ads — by preemptively releasing a video in which he eats pizza with a knife and pretends to hate puppies.
Mr. Warnock, the pastor who now occupies Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, offered a bit of comic relief at a moment when both parties were sweating out the presidential race.
“Raphael Warnock eats pizza with a fork and knife,” says a voice-over as the pastor, wearing a chin napkin, fastidiously consumes a pie (à la Bill de Blasio) in a 30-second video posted on his Twitter page. “Raphael Warnock once stepped on a crack in the sidewalk. Raphael Warnock even hates puppies.”
The message has a serious political purpose in a state that could be host to two Senate runoffs that may determine the balance of power in the upper chamber. As of late Thursday, incumbent Sen. David Perdue, a Republican was below the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff against a strong Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, in Georgia’s other Senate race.
As of late Thursday, Mr. Warnock had garnered 32.7 percent of the vote to Ms. Loeffler’s 26 percent. Ms. Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat last year, made it to the runoff by getting more votes than Rep. Doug Collins, a conservative Republican, in the multicandidate special election.
“Get ready Georgia. The negative ads against us are coming,” tweeted Mr. Warnock, the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. “But that won’t stop us from fighting for a better future for Georgians and focusing on the issues that matter.”
Ms. Loeffler, by contrast, went the NFL Films route in her celebratory “Let’s Do This, Georgia” video on Twitter, posting a two-minute video in which she strides, in triumphant slow-motion, to a variety of campaign events — including a rally with Mr. Trump where he called her “a terrific person.”