Warnock was elected in a 2020 special election against incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed after Senator Johnny Isakson resigned over health issues in the 2019 election, but won just 32% of the vote, leaving him and Loeffler, the second-highest voter, in a runoff election in January. Warnock eventually prevailed and became Georgia’s first black Senator.
The January runoff took place on Jan. 5, 2021, a day before supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol. Just days before the runoff, on Jan. 2, 2021, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and asked him to “find” more than 11,000 votes to put him in charge of the state.
Now Warnock meets Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner who was a running back for the University of Georgia. Walker is the rare Republican to have had the support of not only Trump but also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the primary.
Democrats have invested heavily in the race, and former President Barack Obama traveled to Georgia in the final push, calling Walker “a celebrity who wants to be a politician.”
Walker announced his candidacy for the Georgia Senate race in August 2021, saying he “can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.” This is his first candidacy, and during the campaign he often invokes his outsider status in Washington.
HisLast month, a Daily Beast reported that Walker, who has been vocal against abortion rights, allegedly paid for an abortion on a woman he was dating in 2009. CBS News has not independently confirmed this payment. The Daily Beast said the unidentified woman backed her claim with a receipt for $575 from an abortion clinic and a signed personal check for $700 from Walker to cover expenses. She told The Daily Beast she came out about Walker’s stance on abortion, saying: “I just can’t handle the hypocrisy anymore. We all deserve better.”
On October 5, The Daily Beast reported that she also said she later gave birth to a child by Walker. He also denied this report. The woman told the New York Times that when she became pregnant again two years later, Walker asked her again to terminate the pregnancy. This time she refused, she and Walker ended their relationship and she gave birth to a son who is now 10 years old.
“He needs to be held accountable, just like the rest of us. And if you’re running for office, you have to own your life,” the woman told the Times.
In late October, another woman came forward and claimed Walker paid for an abortion in the early 1990s. Walker also denies this. The woman, known as Jane Doe to conceal her identity, said Walker drove her to an abortion clinic in the spring of 1993 after learning she was pregnant.