Gene Autry Morris, Jr., a native of Newport, is a newly appointed senior staff aid to U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock of Georgia.

Warnock, a Democrat, defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler by about 93,000 votes out of nearly 4.5 million cast, or about 2 percent, according to reports from the Associated Press. Warnock is the first African American senator from Georgia.

Morris graduated from Newport High School in 2013 and further obtained a B.A. in Social Sciences in 2017 from Allen University, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Prior to transitioning to South Carolina, he served as an Associate Minister of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Newport, under the leadership of Ira V. Crite Sr. Currently, he is an Associate Minister at Second Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina under the leadership of Rev. Johnny Ray Noble, Ph.D.

Morris is the CEO and Founder of Autrys Consulting Group and serves as the Lead Consultant. He is a former Advance Staff Member of the Hillary for America Campaign and recently served as a political strategist on Warnock’s Senate race. He also is a former policy and research analyst for the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and Deputy Political Director for Melvin Whittenburg for South Carolina Secretary of State.

As of this 2020 historical run-off election in Georgia, he has been appointed by Warnock to serve as a staff assistant.

Morris also is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Leadership at the Jack Welch Management Institute.

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