Trump-backed Herschel Walker reports hauling in nearly $10M since launching GOP Senate bid in Georgia

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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker is off to a very fast start when it comes to fundraising for his Senate campaign as he tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia in the November’s midterm elections.

The former professional and college football star running back, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped propel the University of Georgia to a national championship, announced on Wednesday that his campaign pulled in nearly $10 million in fundraising from his late August launch through the end of last year. Walker’s campaign also reported raking in $5.4 million during the October-December fourth quarter of fundraising.

SENATE GOP REELECTION COMMITTEE HAULS IN A RECORD $104M LAST YEAR

Walker’s team, which shared their fundraising figures first nationally with Fox News, showcased that their haul the past three months came from 44,364 individual donors from all 50 states.

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally featuring former President Donald Trump on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally featuring former President Donald Trump on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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 as he highlighted his fundraising figures. “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. We could not do it without your help and are looking forward to winning the primary in May and the general election in November.”

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Walker is considered the clear front-runner in the GOP primary, thanks to his high name recognition in the Peach State and the endorsement he received from former President Donald Trump – who for months encouraged Walker to run and who remains very popular and influential among Republican voters in Georgia and across the country. And recent polling suggests Walker holding a wide lead over his Republican rivals.

Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise touted 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 Senator Warnock.”

Former President Donald Trump listens as Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. 

Former President Donald Trump listens as Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Ben Gray)

Four other Republican running for the GOP Senate nomination in the Peach State. They are Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Latham Saddler, a businessman, former National Security Council official during the Trump administration and former Navy SEAL officer, Kelvin King, a U.S. Air Force veteran and businessman, and businessman and former state representative Josh Clark.

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, is untested under fire on the campaign trail and has not made it clear where he stands on some key issues. And they spotlight that Walker comes with plenty of potential political baggage that could give his opponents ammunition – from his well-documented struggles with a mental illness known as dissociative identity disorder, and accusations by his ex-wife of being “physically abusive.”

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As the GOP aims to win back the Senate majority they lost in January 2021 when the Democrats narrowly swept Georgia’s twin Senate runoff elections, they’re playing plenty of defense, defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including five open seats – with two of them in the crucial battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

But they also see opportunities to flip blue seats red in four key swing states, including Georgia. And they view Warnock as one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this year.

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., arrives for the Senate Democrats weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 15, 2021. 

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., arrives for the Senate Democrats weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 15, 2021. 
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Warnock defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, by a razor-thin margin a year ago, to serve the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned in 2019 due to health reasons. 

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But defeating Warnock next year won’t be easy, as Georgia’s first Black senator has set fundraising records since taking office.

Warnock – the pastor of Atlanta’s famed Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached – has yet to file his fourth quarter fundraising figures. But he hauled in an eye-popping $9.5 million during the July-September third quarter of fundraising and reported more than $17.2 million in his campaign coffers at the beginning of October.

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