OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republicans are beginning to rally around GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker ahead of next month’s crucial runoff against Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Neither candidate received the required 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, meaning the two will be facing off again on Dec. 6.
One Republican leader who has come to the aid of Walker is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who handily won reelection earlier this month, beating serial Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams by an even wider margin than the first time they ran against each other in 2018.
“Look, we cannot rest on our laurels here,” Kemp told an audience of Walker supporters in a Cobb County, Georgia, parking lot on Saturday, Fox News reported. “Who do you want to fight for you in the United States Senate? Do you want a guy that represents our values like Herschel Walker, or do you want a guy who’s stood with Joe Biden 96% of the time?”
Kemp told supporters that the Trump-backed Walker would “fight for the values” of Georgia and will “run over” Warnock the way he crumpled defenders when he led the University of Georgia to a college football championship in 1980.
“I know that Herschel Walker will go to the United States Senate and support our men and women in the military and our men and women in law enforcement,” Kemp said.
“I know that Herschel Walker would go to Washington, D.C., and cut our taxes, not raise them. I know that Herschel Walker will do like we’ve done in Georgia and be fiscally conservative and cut runaway government spending in Washington, D.C.”
The governor added that the election will come down to which candidate’s voters are more motivated to go to the polls or cast a ballot.
In his own comments to the crowd, Walker said he will bring the state’s values with him to Washington, D.C., would oppose biological males participating in high school girls’ sporting events, support law enforcement, and stronger border security while keeping God front and center.
“He can block, and I can run,” Walker said, using a football analogy.
Fox News noted further:
Kemp has given Walker access to his get-out-the-vote machine that helped him win a re-election effort against challenger Stacey Abrams in the midterm election by almost 8 points while neither Walker nor Warnock passed the 50% vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
Walker, who hauled in $3.3 million the day after the midterm election and $4.3 million the next day, has hit the campaign trail arguing that Warnock will be a rubber stamp for Biden’s agenda.
Currently, Democrats hold 50 seats again as they did before the midterms, with Republicans holding 49. And although Democrats will still control the chamber if Walker wins, thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker vote, Walker noted that “51 is better than 50.”
“You can get some things done. And besides, this runoff is about who is going to represent the 11 million people of Georgia for the next six years. That’s serious business. Would you agree? That’s a serious question. And you need a serious person,” he said.
On Friday, Warnock’s campaign and Democrats won a major court victory that they believe will help them secure a victory.
According to Bloomberg News, a state judge agreed to allow voting on a Saturday following Thanksgiving after Warnock and Democrats filed a last-minute lawsuit. Warnock is facing off against Trump-backed GOP contender Herschel Walker in a Dec. 6 runoff.
The judge’s ruling prevents Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from his attempts to keep polls closed that day instead.
“Attorneys for Warnock argued that Raffensperger was misreading the state’s new election law and asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cox to immediately enjoin the ban on voting on the only allowable Saturday before the election,” Bloomberg News reported.
Uzoma Nkwonta, an attorney representing the senator, argued, “Foreclosing voting opportunities has always been considered irreparable harm.”
That Warnock and the Democratic Party would sue over just one day of casting ballots underscores how much the 2021 GOP election overhaul has derailed early voting in Georgia’s runoff elections. Democrats say curtailing early voting is an attempt to reduce participation by Black Georgians.