Walker, Warnock and Oliver run for U.S. Senate
One of Georgia’s US Senate seats is up for election again. Both candidates – incumbent Raphael Warnock and challenger Herschel Walker – won their primaries hands down. Another candidate, libertarian Chase Oliver, also qualified for the November 8 general election.
Warnock was elected in 2021 in a special election to fill the term of the late Senator Johnny Isakson, who retired due to health issues. He defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler, who was nominated by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill Isakson’s seat ahead of the special election.
Isakson had served two full terms, but with mounting medical issues, he retired at the end of 2019 with two years remaining in his term. Because Isakson’s term had not ended, Warnock served only briefly in office before running for re-election to a full six-year term.
Previous report:Johnny Isakson, former Republican senator from Georgia, has died
Whether Warnock or Walker win, they will serve alongside Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff to represent Georgia’s interests at the federal level. Victories for Warnock and Ossoff last year handed Democrats narrow control of the chamber; with 50 Democratic and 50 Republican senators, each race has the potential to swing the legislature.
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Senator Raphael Warnock, Democrat
Warnock is an ordained minister and served as senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta for 15 years before running for the Senate. Ebenezer was founded by the father of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.
Warnock currently serves on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. He also sits on the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
On the issues:Where Senator Raphael Warnock, Challengers stand
During his year-plus in the Senate, he focused on health care and economic issues.
Warnock introduced legislation to create a federal Medicaid-style workaround for residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid, including Georgia. In June, a bill introduced by Warnock to cap insulin prices at $35 was included in a bipartisan proposal to lower insulin costs.
Warnock has also worked on economic development issues, touting his work on the SK Battery factory in trade and $2 million federal funding for an inland port in Hall County. He was also a strong advocate for the suspension of the federal gas tax.
In his personal life, Warnock is embroiled in a legal custody battle with his ex-wife, Ouluye Ndoye, who is suing for more custody of their two children and increased child support.
Herschel Walker, Republican
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Walker played football for the University of Georgia and was part of the team that won the 1980 National Championship. After playing for the Bulldogs, Walker spent 15 years in the National Football League. He also went to the 1992 Winter Olympics in bobsledding and competed as a mixed martial arts fighter. Outside of athletics, Walker has been involved in a number of business ventures.
Walker won his primary despite skipping a number of major Republican events and primary debates. He ran on a positive platform of values rather than political specifics, although he did put forward a few proposals.
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Walker said he wanted to lower taxes and advocated less government regulation. He also wants to make the United States energy independent and lower gas prices. His campaign called the suspension of the gas tax a political stunt, although he still supports its suspension.
Walker has publicly spoken about past mental health issues and alleged violence against women. More recently, he has come under scrutiny for failing to mention he has three children in addition to his son, Christian. Walker said he never disowned the children.
Chase Oliver, Libertarian
Chase Oliver has previously run for office to replace former Georgia Rep. John Lewis. Now he’s running against Warnock and Walker for the Senate.
Learn more about Oliver:Chase Oliver hopes to be Georgia’s first LGBTQ congressman
His priorities include criminal justice reform, police accountability, an end to US military interventions overseas, and the legalization of marijuana. Oliver also wants to reduce government regulation on small businesses.