Georgia’s second-ranking statewide elected official has declined to publicly back Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker amid controversy over allegations that the Heisman Trophy winner paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009.
“I’m not voting for [Democratic] Sen. [Raphael] Warnock, and like a lot of other Georgians, Herschel Walker has not yet earned my vote,” Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Saturday. “He’s got four weeks left to change our minds.”
While other prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have stood by Walker after the Daily Beast published the initial claim, Duncan wrote in an op-ed published by CNN last week that the former football star should never have been the GOP’s Peach State Senate pick.
“[T]he Republican Party should not have found its chance of regaining a Senate majority hanging on an untested and unproven first-time candidate,” Duncan wrote.
“Walker won his Senate primary not because of his political chops or policy proposals,” the lieutenant governor added. “He trounced his opponents because of his performance on the football field [for the University of Georgia Bulldogs] 40 years ago and his friendship with former President Donald Trump – neither of which are guaranteed tickets to victory anymore.”
Trump said on his Truth Social platform last week that Walker has been “slandered and maligned by the Fake News Media and obviously, the Democrats.”
“They are trying to destroy a man who has true greatness in his future, just as he had athletic greatness in his past,” added the 45th president, whose closeness with Walker dates back to when the football star played for the Trump-owned New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League in the mid-1980s.
The former president’s super PAC, Make American Great Again Inc., is spending big to try to save Walker’s campaign, injecting $750,000 into ad buys in support of the GOP contender, according to Politico.
Walker has denied the allegation and threatened to pursue legal action.
In his most recent statement on the subject, the 60-year-old Walker told NBC News last week that “I’m not saying she did or didn’t have one [an abortion]. I’m saying I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know.”