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Former football great Hershel Walker, with the backing of former President Donald Trump, has raised nearly $10 million in his quest to defeat incumbent Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the November midterms.
In an interview with Fox News, Walker, a University of Georgia football great who won the Heisman Trophy before a successful NFL career, said his campaign has raised millions between August 2021 when he announced his candidacy and the end of the year.
Newsmax reported: “During the October-December fourth fundraising quarter, Walker’s campaign also reported $5.4 million in contributions from 44,364 individual donors from across all 50 states.”
“As we travel all over the Peach State, we are meeting thousands of hardworking Georgians who are fed up with the direction our country is headed,” Walker said in a statement. “Though I have been blessed with many amazing opportunities, running for U.S. Senate to represent my home state is the greatest honor and privilege of my life.”
The outlet continued:
Considered the obvious front-runner in the GOP primary due to his high name recognition and the endorsement he received from former President Donald Trump, recent polling indicates Walker holds a comfortable lead over his Republican rivals.
Walker’s critics note that, as a first-time candidate, he is untested under pressure on the campaign trail and has not made his position clear on some issues. He also comes with potential political baggage that could be used against him by his opponents, including his struggle with the mental illness dissociative identity disorder and accusations of domestic violence by his ex-wife.
Scott Paradise, Walker’s campaign manager, claimed that “this massive fundraising haul, likely the largest in the country for a non-incumbent, shows that Georgia Republicans are clearly united behind Herschel Walker and are ready to take on Sen. Warnock.”
Warnock managed to eke out a victory by a thin margin in early January, beating Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) after she was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019.
But beating the Democrat won’t be a cakewalk; the state’s first black senator has set fundraising records on his own during his short stint in office.
“The pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, Warnock has yet to file his fourth-quarter fundraising numbers, but he brought in $9.5 million during the July-September third quarter of fundraising and reported more than $17.2 million at the beginning of October, according to Fox,” Newsmax reported.
Heading into the midterms, Republicans are defending 20 of 34 seats up for election, including five that are currently open. The party hopes to win back the currently-evenly-divided chamber which would effectively stymie President Joe Biden’s agenda — especially if the party also manages to retake the House, as political analysts are predicting.
Walker’s rise to the top of the Georgia GOP began early — months before he announced his candidacy.
In March, his name surged after Donald Trump encouraged him to run. A survey from the Trafalgar Group found that Walker, who has never run for office, would beat Warnock.
The Western Journal reports:
The poll shows that Walker had the support of 47.7 percent of participants in the poll compared to just 45.5 percent for Warnock, who defeated former Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of two runoff elections in Georgia during the first week of 2021 that handed control of the Senate to the Democrats. The poll reported a margin of error of +/- 2.88 percentage points.
This information comes as Walker has received a boost from former President Donald Trump, a longtime friend who praised the former University of Georgia star in a statement.
“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Trump said. “He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person. Run Herschel, run!”