Democrat Raphael Warnock Defeats Herschel Walker in High-Profile Georgia Senate Runoff Election

亚特兰大, GEORGIA - 十二月 05: Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks at a Get Out the Vote event with members of the Teamsters at a UPS worksite December 5, 2022 在亚特乔治亚州eor它的. Sen. Warnock continues to campaign throughout Georgia for the runoff election tomorrow against his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

亚特兰大, GEORGIA - 十二月 05: Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks at a Get Out the Vote event with members of the Teamsters at a UPS worksite December 5, 2022 在亚特乔治亚州eor它的. Sen. Warnock continues to campaign throughout Georgia for the runoff election tomorrow against his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

它的. Raphael Warnock.
照片: 赢得麦克纳米/盖蒂

民主党人 Raphael Warnock has won the race to keep his Georgia Senate seat, defeating former football star Herschel Walker after a hotly contested race that advanced to a runoff election.

While Walker’s campaign was consumed with controversy from the beginning, Warnock’s once-sizable lead dramatically narrowed later in the year. In the Nov. 8 midterm election, Warnock and Walker came in just below the necessary 50% vote threshold required to win the race outright, forcing a Dec. 6 runoff.

The past month saw both candidates kick into overdrive in preparation for the unpredictable runoff, but as more scandal fell upon Walker, 60, it seemed to lose him votes, allowing Warnock to gain ground in multiple precincts.

它的. Warnock, 53, has been down the runoff road before, as the same situation occurred in 2020. The reverend then won during round two in Jan. 2021. It was the first time since 2014 that Democrats gained control of the state, as 35-year-old Jon Ossoff also won for the Democratic Party that year.

它的. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speak to a group of demonstrators showing their support for Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities on March 20, 2021 在亚特兰大, 乔治亚州

它的. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speak to a group of demonstrators showing their support for Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities on March 20, 2021 在亚特兰大, 乔治亚州

Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Megan Varner/Getty

This race, 然而, was altogether different — in part due to the ever-escalating drama that nearly engulfed Walker’s campaign in its final weeks.

沃克, a College Football Hall of Famer who played for the University of Georgia and was an NFL running back, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in August of 2021.

He quickly secured the endorsement of former President 唐纳德·特朗普, who called the former athlete a “朋友, a patriot, and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States Senator.

As Walker’s campaign wore on, the first-time candidate began courting controversy over comments such as those expressing skepticism about human evolution and creating his own, unscientific explanation for air pollution. He was also caught in a string of lies about things like his education, his employment historyCOVID cures that he claimed to have at the start of the pandemic.

Herschel Walker, US Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, speaks to members of the media following a campaign rally in Macon, 乔治亚州, US, 在星期三, 可能 18, 2022. Heisman Trophy-winner Walker is vying to face incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in his first political run.

Herschel Walker, US Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, speaks to members of the media following a campaign rally in Macon, 乔治亚州, US, 在星期三, 可能 18, 2022. Heisman Trophy-winner Walker is vying to face incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in his first political run.

Herschel Walker.
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty

Walker’s personal life has also been the subject of headlines.

在 2008, Walker wrote about having dissociative identity disorder. 当时, his ex-wife said that he had been violent toward her in their marriage, 包含 holding a gun to her head — which 在她参加医药展的日子之后 he did not deny, saying he had blackouts and memory loss and did not remember the episodes.

I’m troubled by my actions and will always deeply regret any pain I’ve caused Cindy,” 他当时说.

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在十月, more of Walker’s familial and relationship history made headlines when the Daily Beast reported that the anti-choice candidate had once paid for a woman to abort a pregnancy in 2009 — a claim he vehemently denied, telling Fox News拜登告诉福克斯新闻记者“没有什么私人的 in a televised interview he had “不知道” who the woman making the accusation was. 几天后, the Beast was back with a new report, this time alleging that not only did Walker know the woman, but he also has a child with her.

A second woman, represented by prominent attorney Gloria Allred, 然后 came forward with similar accusations — which he also denied — and released audio recordings of voicemails he’d left for her expressing his affection back when they were together.

The ongoing saga has sparked backlash not just from political pundits, but from Walker’s own son, right-wing social media personality Christian Walker, who posted a series of tweets and videos saying his father should not be trusted.

Warnock, a pastor who rose to prominence at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s former church, made history in 2021 as the first Black senator to be elected from Georgia when he defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.