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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker has racked up another impressive fundraiser for his Senate campaign as he tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia in November’s midterm elections.
The former professional and college football star, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped propel the University of Georgia to a national championship, announced Wednesday that his campaign raised $5.5 million during the fundraising in Q1 funds from January to March 2022. That’s up from the $5.4 million Walker hauled in the last three months of last year.
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Walker’s team, when first sharing their nationwide fundraising numbers with Fox News, noted that the amount raised in the past three months was one of the largest fundraising quarters. country for any Republican candidate seeking office. The campaign also pointed out that Walker received contributions from more than 50,000 donors from all 50 states during the first quarter.
“If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s putting my head down and going to work,” Walker said in a statement. “Our team traveled to every corner of Georgia shaking hands with voters and hearing that they’ve had enough of Joe Biden and Raphael Warnock. We can’t do it alone and Georgians are coming out in record numbers to join our team.”
Walker’s campaign shared its fundraising numbers the day after Warnock announced that it had raised $13.6 million in fundraising in the past three months and had $25.6 million. dollars in cash in its coffers at the end of March.
Walker acknowledged in his statement that “the Republican nominee against Warnock will have to raise funds and bring new voters to the table.” He touted his record in this regard: “I do both. We are very grateful for your support and we look forward to returning this seat to the people.”
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Campaign Manager Scott Paradise noted that “Since our announcement in August, we have raised nearly $15 million, with each quarter surpassing the last.”
He also pointed out that “Herschel’s pro-business, pro-law enforcement, pro-military, pro-America message clearly resonates with Georgians who are fed up with the status quo. We have the resources to tell Georgians why they have to fire Senator Warnock and that’s exactly what we’ll do until November.”
Walker is the clear favorite in the GOP primary, thanks to his high profile in the Peach State and the endorsement he received from former President Donald Trump – who for months encouraged Walker to run and who remains hugely popular and influential among Republican voters in Georgia and across the country. A recent poll suggests Walker holds a huge lead over his Republican rivals in the May 24 Senate Republican primary.
Four other Republicans are vying for the GOP Senate nomination in Peach State: Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black; Latham Saddler, businessman and former National Security Council official in the Trump administration and former Navy SEAL officer; Kelvin King, Air Force veteran and businessman; and businessman and former state representative Josh Clark.
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Walker has run a carefully scripted campaign since jumping into the race, and his critics continue to note that Walker, as a first-time candidate, has not been tested under fire on the campaign trail and n did not clearly state its position on some key issues. . They also raise concerns about his political background which could give Warnock and the Democrats plenty of ammunition.
Walker has faced allegations of physical abuse and violent behavior in the past, including an alleged incident where Walker held a razor to his ex-wife’s throat, choked her and then put a gun to her temple. Black, a cattle rancher and elected commissioner of agriculture in Georgia, launched a scathing digital ad last month that highlighted the incident.
Separately, Walker has openly discussed for years his struggles with a mental illness known as dissociative identity disorder. Walker shed light on his mental health issues in a 2008 book, writing that he was able to overcome his multiple personalities through therapy and his faith in Christianity.
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Walker was also hit with numerous reports for months that he exaggerated the success of his businesses and that Walker and his businesses owed millions in unpaid loans.
As the GOP aims to win back the Senate majority it lost in January 2021 when Democrats narrowly swept Georgia’s two Senate elections, they are playing heavy defense, defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including five seats. open – with two of them on the crucial battlefields of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
But they also see opportunities to flip blue seats to red in four key swing states, including Georgia. And they see Warnock — the pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached — as one of the most vulnerable Democrats vying for re-election this year.
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Warnock beat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was nominated by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, by a slim margin 15 months ago to serve the final two years of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term. who resigned in 2019 due for health reasons.