4 more weeks: Walker, Warnock prepare for December runoff election

ATLANTA — It’s official -- there will be a runoff between incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

The Warnock campaign didn’t say very much on Wednesday, but Channel 2′s Richard Elliot learned they were already in planning sessions.

Some voting advocacy groups told Elliot they’re ready to mobilize the vote again.

Warnock gave his supporters the news in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday that they weren’t sure yet, but it looked like they had one more election to win.

“I maybe a little bit tired for now, but whether its later tonight or tomorrow or four weeks from now, we will hear from the people of Georgia,” Warnock said.

By daylight, the vote totals showed there would have to be a runoff.

Warnock led Walker by about 35,000 votes.

Elliot attempted to contact the Warnock campaign Wednesday but was told they wouldn’t have anything to say.

Warnock’s campaign manager Quentin Fulks did take to Twitter to point out his view of the election.

“Last night, Herschel Walker significantly underperformed in an environment that set him up for success. Last night was a good night for Rev. Warnock and a bad night for Herschel Walker,” Fulks said in the tweet.


Wednesday, a coalition of progressive voting advocacy groups held a virtual news conference to talk about the race and what they plan to do for Warnock during the runoff.

“Right now, I mean, we have just four weeks including over the Thanksgiving holiday to do this all over again,” said Kendra Cotton with the New Georgia Project.

Cotton pointed out that the last day to register to vote during the runoff was two days ago. So if you are already registered to vote, you can, but if you didn’t register before Nov. 7, you can’t vote in this runoff.

They think too much money was used on political ads and not enough on mobilizing the ground game to turn out the vote -- something Cotton promises to remedy.

“We expected this. We’re experienced in how to turnout votes in a runoff. We’ve done this before, and we’re prepped with the knowledge, tools and people power to do it all again,” Cotton said.

On the Republican side of things, analyst say Herschel walker has got to connect with Gov. Brian Kemp.

Political analyst Fred Hicks told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston that thousands of voters who supported Kemp didn’t vote for Walker and Walker needs to change that.

“He’s a real risk of losing and losing at a decent margin badly if he’s not able to get those Brian Kemp voters to cross over and vote for him,” Hicks said.

Kemp spoke exclusively to Channel 2′s Fred Blankenship during Channel 2 Action News at Noon on Wednesday and said he’s already called Walker’s staff to offer his help.

“That’s what Republicans do. When David Perdue lost to Brian Kemp, he came out that night and said we have to stop Stacey Abrams from being governor. So, I fully expected him to make the same overture to Herschel Walker,” Hicks said.

Bonnie Hayes said she wants Walker to be Georgia’s next U.S. Senator.

“I support him,” Hayes said. “I know he’s had a lot of bad press, but I really admire his courage and character and standing up for who he is and what he wants.”

Lauren Giles, who’s an independent, told Huddleston that she wants Walker and Warnock to clean up their act.

“Fewer ads that are just attacks on each other and I have to explain to why kids these bad things people are saying about each other,” Giles said.

Hicks said unfortunately, those ads will only increase during the runoff.

“While the candidates themselves might not attack each other, that soft money the outside committees that are going to play in Georgia, will certainly make it very personal and lots of attacks against the other,” Hicks said.

Hick said he expected former President Donald Trump to make stops in Georgia during the runoff, to not only support Walker, but to campaign for himself, because the former president is supposed to announce he’s running for president on Monday.

The runoff election will be held Dec. 6.


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