The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock speaks during the Martin Luther King, Jr. annual commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta earlier this month.
Washington CNN  — 

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and leader of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, announced a bid for the US Senate in Georgia on Thursday, the latest twist in an increasingly competitive special election.

In his video, Warnock described his path from Savannah’s Kayton Homes housing project to the pulpit where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

“Some might ask why a pastor thinks he should serve in the Senate,” said Warnock. “I’ve always thought that my impact doesn’t stop at the church door. That’s actually where it starts.”

Warnock did not mention either political party in his video. He instead introduced himself and discussed the cost of health care and the dignity of work.

But he has not shied away from taking on Donald Trump in a state the President won by five points in 2016. In 2018, after Trump crudely disparaged people from Haiti and African countries and suggested that the US should admit more people from places like Norway, Warnock reportedly said Trump needed to “repent” for his “volcanic eruption of hate speech spewing.”

Warnock will face at least two Republicans, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins, and other Democrats in the November election.

After Sen. Johnny Isakson retired last month due to health concerns, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler over Collins, who was Trump’s preference.