In Georgia, All Eyes on Herschel Walker Debate

He and Raphael Warnock square off Friday night in only such contest in their Senate race
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 14, 2022 2:55 PM CDT
Walker, Warnock Prepare for Race's Sole Debate
Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker campaigns last month in Emerson, Georgia.   (AP Photos/Bill Barrow, File)

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, will meet Friday night for their only debate in Georgia's marquee Senate contest, just days before in-person early voting begins. The 60-minute session, which will take place before a live audience, comes in the wake of reports that Walker paid for a girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009 before later fathering a child with her. Additionally, the AP reports, the matchup could force both men to answer other attacks—personal and political—that have flooded voters' television screens and social media feeds for months.

"Raphael Warnock will have to answer why he has voted 96% of the time with (President) Joe Biden, giving us record-high inflation, all while doubling his own income," Walker aide Will Kiley said. Warnock's campaign manager, Quentin Fulks, wrote in a memo that the debate will highlight Walker's "pattern of lies, disturbing behavior, and positions" that "prove he is not ready to represent Georgia in the US Senate." Fulks added, however, that Warnock would highlight his nearly two years in the Senate as proof he "will work with anyone to help the people of our state." Those previews track ground that Warnock, the 53-year-old pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Walker, the 60-year-old former college and professional football star, have staked out in the midterm election.

The Savannah debate, coming days before Monday's start of early in-person voting, is the two rivals' only meeting because Walker declined to accept the three fall debates typical in Georgia campaigns. Warnock accepted that slate of proposed debates in June, only to have Walker balk and counter with Friday's debate. The Friday debate will not include Libertarian Chase Oliver, who did not meet organizers' polling threshold. Just one of those original three debates is still scheduled: Warnock will meet Oliver in a Sunday session sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club. In that debate, Walker will be represented by an empty podium because he declined the invitation.

(More Georgia stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.