Dueling ads are running in Georgia ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff between incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
One, a positive ad from the Walker campaign, touts Walker as a stand-up guy raised on “small town values. The other, from the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, attacks Walker for the exact opposite.
Herschel is one of the most genuine people that I think you’ll ever meet,” an unnamed man in his late 30s or early 40s opens in the ad. “The quality and the fabric of the man is top notch and his values have been formed in small town Wrightsville, Georgia and those are good values.”
“The biggest thing to me about Herschel is the heart of a servant leader, because he wants to give back and to help the people of Georgia and to benefit Georgians. Herschel is just a good man, one of the best,” the man finishes.
To Walker critics, the ad may seem disingenuous. It comes as Walker continues to face pushback over several false or misleading statements throughout his campaign, and two allegations from women who say the anti-abortion Republican paid for them to have abortions. That’s where the second ad comes in.
That ad opens with an older woman named Janis, who the ad says is from Marietta.
“I have voted for Republican candidates in the past, but now I don’t feel that I can do that. I don’t think Herschel Walker is a man of integrity and character,” she says. “He lies about his businesses; he lies about the way he’s treated his family; he lies about his beliefs about abortion.”
She then goes on to lament the abortion allegations, in which two ex-girlfriends came forward to say Walker had paid for their abortions after they became pregnant with his child.
“I will pray for Herschel Walker, but I will not vote for him,” Janis says.
Georgia voters will again head to the polls in December for the runoff between Walker and Warnock after neither candidate secured the 50% of the vote needed to win outright in the November election.
The abortion allegations are arguably the biggest feature of the race so far, given that Walker has been a vocal abortion opponent. The reports from women who say he funded their procedures is timely after the U.S. Supreme Court this summer overturned federal abortion protections, kicking regulatory authority to individual states.
Since then, some congressional Republicans have called for federal legislation banning abortion in many instances.
The race has been one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate contests in the nation this cycle as it was expected to potentially determine which political party gains or maintains control of the chamber. However, two Senate races in Arizona and Nevada were decided over the weekend in Democrats’ favor, meaning even if Warnock were to lose his re-election bid, Democrats would still maintain a 50/50 split in the chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote and giving Democrats the slimmest of majorities.