SAVANNAH, Ga. — Eyes across the country were focused on one of the biggest political debates in the country.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock faced off against Republican challenger Herschel Walker Friday night in Savannah. It will be the only debate between the two after Walker declined to participate in typical three debates.
Polls show Warnock and Walker neck and neck. There’s a chance this debate could sway some voters.
Abortion rights and Georgia’s controversial “heartbeat” law were one of the hot topics during the debate.
Throughout his campaign, Walker has said that it is a “problem” that there is no national ban on abortion. During Friday night’s debate, Walker was insistent that his position is that of the state’s “heartbeat” law that bans abortions after six weeks.
Walker shifted the focus to Warnock and criticized the senator for being a Baptist pastor who supports abortion rights.
“On abortion, you know, I’m a Christian. I believe in life...I’ll be a senator that protects life,” Walker said, later suggesting that Warnock doesn’t care about abortions in the Black community.
Warnock insisted that being a Christian and supporting abortion rights are not mutually exclusive.
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“God gave us a choice and I respect the right of women to make a decision. These are medical decisions, they are deeply personal,” Warnock said.
The campaigning started earlier today. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson hosted a rally for Warnock supporters and reminded visitors that the incumbent senator is a Savannah native.
“We are thoroughly happy to have all of you in the greatest city on earth and the center of the political universe, Savannah, Georgia,” Johnson told supporters.
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On top of the polls showing a very close race between Warnock and Walker, there’s more at stake than just the Georgia Senate seat — control of the Senate and the Congress could be at stake too.
“We are now on the home stretch. We’re in the red zone — 25 days,” Rep. Buddy Carter said during a rally for Walker.
Walker has been facing mounting criticism after allegations surfaced that he had paid for an ex-girlfriend to get an abortion despite being pro-life.
Carter said those allegations shouldn’t sway voters as he criticized Warnock for inflation and crime.
“All this stuff about Herschel Walker’s past, you know. I’m more concerned about Raphael Warnock’s future than Herschel Walker’s past,” Carter said.
Warnock and Libertarian Chase Oliver will participate in a Sunday debate sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club in which Walker will be represented with an empty podium.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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